The Belgian was among the world’s best Ironman triathletes having finished sixth at the World Championships when he suffered a cycling accident in training in 2002, which left him paralysed from the chest down.
But Herremans bounced back to win the world title in the wheelchair division four years later and now acts as the sport director wheelchair in the annual Wings for Life World Run, which next takes place on 5 May 2019.
“In my first life I was a triathlete,” he said. “Unfortunately, I got paralysed from the chest down, my spinal cord was totally damaged and there was no chance to recover.”
“I realised it’s going to be a tough one but, from the first moment, I started to do rehab because I believe in a medical solution. Besides that, I started to train because the accident was allowed to break my back but not my dreams.”
The now father of three has acted as an inspiration for countless wheelchair athletes around the globe.
In the video – filmed from his training room awash with his kids’ toys – he talks about his own battle but also the fight by the Wings for Life foundation to find a cure for spinal cord injury, and calls on you to sign up for the Wings for Life World Run on 5 May 2019.