The PossAbilities Speaker’s Bureau consists of PossAbilities members and community advocates that represent the program at a variety of speaking engagements. By sharing their stories and unique perspective on life, they are role models and inspire each of us to do our part to make the world a better place. Our speakers are available to speak at schools, community organizations, corporate meetings and retreats, social clubs, churches, etc. Call (909) 558-6384 for more details or to book a speaking engagement.
MEET OUR SPEAKERS!
In Aug 1988, Greg Crouse was serving overseas as a Cannon Crewman on a Howitzer Battery in the US Army. While a pedestrian on a weekend furlough from Duty, Greg was struck by a drunk driver on a motorcycle, rupturing his stomach, cracking his hips, shattering his left femur in four places, and severing his left leg below the knee. Crouse was Heli-lifted to the nearest Euro Hospital to be treated, flat lining twice, once on the Helicopter in route and once on the operating table. Recovery and physical therapy ensued for over 18 months stateside. Upon his honorable service discharge, Greg drifted aimlessly and fell into a bleak and dark period in the ‘90’s. Not finding himself again until his discovery of adaptive sports and activities in 2001 with other disabled Veterans and motivated athletes. Greg has represented the United States 4 times now in international competition in outrigger canoeing and hopes to continue to achieve his goals in Hungary (2011), Calgary (2012), and secure the first ever Open Men’s “Para-canoe” selection in the 2016. Greg is a professionally trained speaker and is available to conduct hospital and home visits as well as to speak at corporate events.
Since the injury that cost him his left leg, André Barbieri has developed a passion for triathlons. In 2010, Andre fell victim to a snowboarding accident that culminated in the amputation of his left leg. Andre suffered a compound fracture to his femur that severed his femoral artery, tore the nerves and veins in his leg, and he nearly died after losing a lot of blood. As a member of Team PossAbilities, Andre has worked with prosthetists at Loma Linda University Medical Center East Campus to develop a biking leg and a running leg that will allow him to train and compete in paratriathlon events. His dream is to one day compete in the Paralympics Games! Andre is to conduct hospital and home visits as well as to speak at corporate events.
My name is Zimri Solis I was born on December 31, 1982 in a city called Ocotlan Jalisco, Mexico. I was diagnosed with meningitis, meningococcal, at the age of 10 years old. My parents were not familiar with the symptoms I was having and it created panic. They decided to take me to Claremont Hospital. I was there for a couple of hours waiting before the doctors realized my condition was much more serious than they thought. My parents noticed a helicopter was landing to pick someone up, little did they know that the helicopter was there to pick me up. I was air lifted to Loma Linda University Medical Center where at the time of landing I was pronounced dead; I had no vital signs. Everyone was praying for me and at some point my vitals came back. The doctors explained to my parents that amputations had to be done in order to stop the virus from spreading; at this point my parents did not know what decision to make. The doctors when ahead with the surgery to complete the amputations and I was kept in a coma for 4 months. After waking up from my coma it was like being reborn. I had to learn how to walk and use my limbs all over again. After being discharged I started my rehabilitation process, which is when I met Dr. Murray Brandstater who has been there since day one helping through all of my rehabilitation, support, and surgeries. Today I work for Wal-Mart logistics and I am a forklift operator for the receiving department and I have adapted very well in my jobs. I’m currently in the process of going back to school and getting my associates degree in radiology. I’m part of the PossAbilities program and a Peer Visitor to other patients who are currently in the hospital with recent limb loss or other illness or injury as a mentor to them and to find ways to give back and get the satisfaction of helping others with physical disabilities.