A MAN paralysed from the chest down in a horrific crash has been nominated for a national award for his inspiration in rebuilding his life and helping others with spinal injuries.
Nic Kane, from Sandhutton, near Thirsk, had just qualified as a mechanic aged 19 when a driver ploughed into his motorcycle. He was left with catastrophic spinal injuries and limited movement.
But from the start Mr Kane decided he just had to get on and rebuild his life.
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He trained as a counsellor to work with other spinal injury patients and joined the North East Bulls, a wheelchair rugby team based in Sedgefield.
He has been all over the country playing and demonstrating wheelchair rugby including at Stoke Hospital and Phoenix House, run by Help for Heroes at Catterick Garrison.
“I just thought you have to be positive," said Mr Kane, now aged 21.
"There is no choice, crack on. Life was obviously going to be different, but it didn’t mean I couldn’t still make the most of it."
Readers of The Northern Echo and Darlington and Stockton Times helped raise £10,000 towards an all terrain wheelchair for Mr Kane.
Now his work has earned him a nomination as one of three finalists for the Spinal Injuries Association Inspirational Achievements award for young people.
The Association was started by Baroness Masham, who was herself injured in a fall, and is celebrating it’s 40th anniversary this year.
Mr Kane's mother, Trish Kane, said:”The award is for rebuilding lives after a spinal chord injury and it’s for young people who have shown courage and determination.
"It’s the Association’s 40th anniversary and they do such an amazing job.
"It’s one of those charities that people don’t know about because it’s only when people have a spinal chord injury that they come into contact with them."
The award ceremony is in Birmingham on June 5.
Mr Kane said :”I was really shocked when I heard about the nomination, it is a real honour. The Association has been a real help to me.”
His mother added: "We’re all hoping he wins of course, but to us he’s always been a winner. He’s so positive, he really does keep everyone else determined to crack on, as he says.”