Aaron Baker was a professional motocross racer when, in 1999, he crashed while practicing, breaking the 4-5-6 cervical vertebras in his neck. "While in the hospital my neurosurgeon diagnosed me as a complete quadriplegic, having only a one in a million chance of regaining any function below my level of injury," Baker says on his website. "However, through my intense desire to optimize the quality of my life, through eternal optimism and exercise I have been able to focus my mind and energy resulting in a slow, tedious return of function and strength."
Baker's drive, along with the unending support of his family, has produced remarkable results. He's not only regained function against the odds, but he's recovered to do things like walk across Death Valley unassisted, bomb the Kamikaze Downhill on a custom mountain bike, and earn a T-1 cycling National Championship Title (watch the video below to learn more about Aaron).
His personal triumphs aren't the only story, however. Based on his own recovery experience, Baker and his mother Laquita Dian Stovall knew there was a void of resources for others who had suffered life-changing injuries and who had completed their in-patient and out-patient physical therapy but knew there was more progress to be made in their recovery. Together with Taylor-Kevin Isaacs they founded C.O.R.E., the Center of Restorative Exercise, in 2011.
C.O.R.E. aims to "fill the health and wellness gap that exists between physical therapy and independent fitness." With custom-designed plans tailored to each individual, they're helping others advance their own recovery process and turn their full potential into reality.
Aaron Baker will return to Santa Clarita, California, for the Wings for Life World Run this year, so join him there or in one of 34 other locations around the globe to inspire others and help researchers find a cure for spinal cord injury.