Carly Pearson, a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, was working as a wild land fire fighter for the National Parks service. In 2002, when deployed to work a fire in Oregon, she tripped and fell 25ft down a ravine into the Rogue River, Carly crashed into rocks, causing her to break her T12/L1 vertebra, which left her paralyzed from the waist down. While recovering, she found her situation hopeless saying “for years I thought there was no life beyond rehab”. Solace finally came in the form of adaptive sports. She felt alive again. She began competing in snow skiing and progressed to triathlons and cycling. Rock climbing was a sport Carly had yet to tackle. On March 23rd she faced the challenge of climbing the 50ft wall at Stone Summit. When asked what was going through her mind while attempting this feat she replied, “I kept saying to myself, I’m getting to the top!” With her seven year old cheering her on “go mommy, don’t give up” she made it to the top. Though Carly’s story is unique, she is one of many who have overcome physical challenges to prove that life can be redefined and the impossible, possible. She is an inspiring example of courage, determination, and perseverance. According to research published by the international medical society of paraplegia, participation in sport and recreation activities decreases from 84% pre-injury to 47% post injury, with the most frequently reported reason was being poor wheelchair access. Catalyst is continuing to work on breaking down those barriers as experienced by Carly at our March event.