Lunch and Learn

Moderator: Paul Rosen

Paul was a promising 15-year-old Midget AAA hockey player skating hard in a 1975 tournament when he caught a rut in the ice. He fell and snapped his leg in 14 places. Along with the shattered bone, so too, his dream of playing professional hockey was shattered.

For 24 years thereafter Paul endured countless surgeries to repair his leg. Standing in an airport in Germany in 1997 his leg snapped again — this time, for the last time. Over the next 18 months he suffered 14 more unsuccessful surgeries.

In 1999 doctors discovered a massive infection in his knee and delivered the diagnosis that Paul either has his right leg amputated, or he has three months to live. On June 9, 1999, at age 39, Paul’s right leg was cut off above the knee.

Inspired by 12-year-old triple amputee Shane Smith who, during a tough rehab session asked: “Paul, do you still have a heart? Do you still have a brain? Then what’s wrong with you?” …Paul Rosen’s grit and determination swelled to unforeseen levels.

Within one year of his amputation, Paul mastered the game of Sledge Hockey, tried out for, and made the Canadian National Sledge Hockey Team. One year later he became the oldest rookie in the history of the game, playing for Team Canada at the 2002 Salt Lake City Paralympics. Paul remains an integral and inspirational leader of the top-ranked Canadian National Sledge Hockey Team, and after the 2006 Torino Paralympic Games, Paul Rosen was ranked the number one Sledge Hockey goaltender in the world.

You can read more about Paul here and feel free to connect with him on Twitter (@rosen57).


Robin Simmons

Robin Simmons is a daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, friend and girlfriend.

She has likes, dislikes and hobbies. She is a trained Peer Support Worker who currently works at The Mood Disorders Association of Ontario where she co-facilitates a program called Laughing Like Crazy and WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan).

Robin lives in her own accessible apartment with attendant care here in Toronto. She has Cerebral Palsy and uses a power wheelchair to get around.

Sarah Evans

Sarah's photoSarah Evans is a long time member and volunteer of Ability Online, and it is her personal life experience living with cerebral palsy and a mental health challenge that led Ability Online to create “Supporting Healthy Minds” for young adults. Sarah is an incredible role model and mentor and in addition to being a powerful advocate for mental health, she is also an aspiring writer.