Matt Kinnie was an avid outdoorsman, adventure seeker, and engineering student at UNB when in 2005 he had a rock climbing accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down and with reduced hand and arm function.
Lucky to be alive, Matt had to accept the changes in his life and learn how to navigate the world from a wheelchair. After several years of not quite feeling like himself and struggling with poor mental health, Matt turned to wheelchair sports to help him get healthy and regain the confidence he lost with his injury. With the support of friends and family, Matt was able to get back to living life to the fullest, and now he helps others by sharing his story about his journey to thriving once again. Matt now competes internationally in handcycling, with hopes of qualifying for the 2020 Paralympics. He is also the president of Parasport New Brunswick, where he is passionate about helping others with mobility impairments to get involved in parasport.
In 2007, Matt completed his engineering degree and has been working full-time for the past 10 years. Currently, Matt is part of the leadership team at Tango Medical, a medical rehab equipment company, where he is responsible operations improvement and business development. Having the support of an employer that looks beyond his disability has been instrumental to him achieving success in the business world.
Matt and his wife Melanie are proud parents of twin girls, who turned 6 years old in August. Currently, Matt’s biggest challenge is no longer dealing with his disability, but learning how to balance home, work and play.