SCI Life: Still Hanging Ten

Damon Bosier

Damon Boiser

Still Hanging Ten

While many people think of Hawaii as the ultimate dream vacation, to Damon Boiser, it’s home. Born and raised on a tiny strip of land in the jungle, free-spirited Boiser lives and breathes this magical place. So it’s almost morosely apropos that one of the most beloved pastimes of people from Hawaii — swimming and diving into the ocean — is how he became injured.

After Boiser, now 38, dove into shallow water 10 years ago off the Big Island, the transition to life as a C6 quadriplegic was hard. But he was able to weather the adjustment by clinging to what had always pulled him through difficult times — his attitude. “I’ve always had an extremely upbeat and positive outlook, and during rehab and going home, my charisma never faltered. It’s always provided me an edge simply because its infectious.”

But going “home” after rehab wasn’t that easy. With a lack of accessible housing — a major problem in Hawaii — Boiser has had to jump from one semi-accessible place to another. “I’ve learned that Hawaii is a Medicare deficit state in that we are very high cost, and funds are in shortage.”

Fast-forward to today: He’s now trying to change this. “I’ve been making it my focus to work alongside developer agencies to pilot and create opportunities in housing, vocation, and even social activities,” says Boiser. “I’m just the bulldozer to do this.” He also went on to doing again what he loves — skydiving (and landing in his chair) and surfing, the latter thanks to AccessSurf. “I started surfing again in 2006. It really makes me feel alive. Connecting with the ocean is an important part for me as a native Hawaiian.” And to top it off, Boiser just landed a sponsorship with Mogo Wheelchairs, an Australian-based company that loves his tenacity.

The Ultimate Card Holder
Keeping your cards close at hand isn’t exactly easy when your hands are paralyzed, which is what inspired MattVision, an adapted card holder unlike any other. It was initially made for Matt Johnson, a quad who became an avid Texas Hold ‘Em player as a way to still be competitive amongst his friends.

The “viewer” works by displaying your hand in a box-like contraption with a see-through window, letting you see what you have without anyone else being able to easily sneak a peek. There are two versions — the Two-Card Viewer, perfect for Texas Hold-Em, for $75; and the 13-Card Viewer, for $80. While it can’t shuffle or put the cards in by itself, it’s a great tool for anyone playing a multi-player game, or someone who wants to hold their cards without fear of them being seen.

Check it out at mattvisionllc.com.

No More Show and Tell
Never again do you have to let anyone see the contents of your Foley bag. With designs as varied as dolphins, bling and footballs, the Hoodiecat cloaks Foley bags and leg bags in a fabric of your choice, with 45 options, instantly hiding one of the most personal medical products you take with you.

See them at hoodiecat.com.

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