It is rare that someone can take a “tragedy” as an opportunity to change their life and help others. That is exactly what Brian P. Swift did. In 1979 on the day after Christmas, Brian Swift, at the age of 17, broke his neck playing football leaving him a C5/6 quadriplegic, with permanent paralysis from his chest down. In the process of his rehabilitation, he became aware of the importance of recreation for rehabilitation, not only to improve mobility, but to improve mental well-being. Brian saw this event in his life as a challenge and an opportunity to assist others. This life-changing event developed into his personal crusade.
Brian went back to school and received his bachelor’s degree from Saint Xavier University and his Juris Doctor degree from DePaul College of Law. Brian Swift overcame the challenge of his disability utilizing sports for himself and others by coaching football and basketball for over twenty years. He also continued to hunt, fish, and take long rides in the outdoors after his accident as a means to combat the emotional and physical strains of his disability.
The father of three adopted children and a husband of over 27 years, Brian developed his strategy of success, CIA: Commitment, Integrity, and Attitude. By using this strategy, Brian leaves people invigorated to face their own struggles with hope, faith, and purpose!
It is our hope that SOAR can provide a place and services to help others build their bodies and minds to be healthier and happier. As SOAR grows with the help and generosity of others, it is our goal to positively effect as many lives as we can through the wonders of the great, accessible, outdoors.