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News > 2018 > January

Article

ALUMNUS HONOURED AS “HERO OF THE MONTH”

15 January 2018


In November 2017, former Reddam House Atlantic Seaboard student, Brandon Beack, was presented with LeadSA’s Cape Hero of the Month award – a recognition of the significant impact that he has in his community: inspiring, leading and participating as an active citizen of South Africa.

A moment of tragedy, back in 2012, turned Brandon’s life upside down. Before a bad dismount during his training, he was aiming to be an Olympic gymnast. The accident left him paralysed as a C6/C7 quadriplegic. After ten weeks of therapy, the Beack family was left to find their own way on an unsure path.

What could have been the end of Brandon’s aspirations – through sheer determination and an incredible display of character, and with the undying support of family members – turned into a new horizon. Brandon was not giving up just yet.

Brandon co-founded the Walking With Brandon Foundation, a rehabilitation centre offering various programs to help individuals suffering from paralyses get back on their feet – in more ways than one.

His own experiences following his accident led to Brandon’s discovery that there was a massive lack of outpatient neurological rehabilitation offered in South Africa. The family started fusing many alternative and conventional forms of rehabilitation to help him recover, such as training with a personal trainer/bodybuilder, acupuncture, homoeopathy, training with his gymnastics coach, inversion therapy, psychotherapy, massage and reflexology, and much more. Brandon had recovered further than any expectations. He would later go on to attend specialised rehab for six weeks at the Shepherd Centre in Atlanta, Georgia, where he experienced not only a variety of different forms of advanced neurological rehab but also an entirely different mindset, one where there is always space for improvement and recovery. Brandon's dreams were to share these new ideologies with the community, help people with disabilities realise their potential and begin a central hub, that acts as a one-stop shop, where people can come to have affordable advanced neurological rehab. The Walking With Brandon foundation is a source of hope for many who face the same challenges that Brandon faced – and still faces today.

Brandon also has not given up on his dreams as an athlete. With his sights set on the 2020 Paralympics, Brandon is hard at work, training as a sprinter and shot-putter, having already smashed a 100m sprinting record.

Reddam House is extremely proud of Brandon and the outstanding example he has set for us all.

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