“Find ways to tell yourself that you are better off here. It's very hard when you are in a negative mindset, but a few little positive things can be a reason to live.”

As an elite wheelchair basketballer for Mackay, I’ve achieved many successes. But I’ve also faced a lot of challenges, both physically and mentally. I was born with spina bifida and have endured over 90 operations in my life. I survived cancer twice. I‘ve had to lean on my family a lot, and there have been many times that I’ve felt like a burden on them.
It all caught up to me a few years ago. I had some major medical issues and was trying to manage depression and anxiety, when my marriage ended. I didn’t want to bring anyone down by telling them that I felt life wasn’t worth living. But I didn’t want to be here anymore, and made several attempts on my life. It was only when I was in hospital that I finally began to talk about what I was feeling, and seek the help I needed.
I have a tattoo that says ‘trust your struggles’. I’ve realised that you’ve got to trust everything you go through in life, and that you’ll come out the other side. Although my life isn’t perfect, I now have so much to live for. I have a new career in personal training and a supportive and loving partner. I have dreams that are moving me forward. Looking back now, I wish I did open up a lot earlier and speak to my family. Because when I did, it changed everything.

Damon playing basketball
Damon in front of a piece of street art of a turtle.