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Jeff Tiessen is founder of Disability Today Publishing Group. He has won three Paralympic medals and set a world record in the 400m track.
One of Canada’s best known Paralympic athletes, Jeff Tiessen medalled in three consecutive Summer Paralympic Games, including a still current world record setting performance in 400m track in Seoul, South Korea in 1988. Since 1992, the award-winning journalist and disability advocate has been President of DT Publishing (http://www.disabilitytodaynetwork.com), publishers of Active Living Magazine, promoting sport, fitness and healthy living for people with disabilities. DT Publishing has also actively supported Paralympic sport through its books and magazine coverage.
As a book and magazine publisher, Jeff’s work focuses on providing kids with special needs with tools and ideas for healthy, active living. As executive producer of the Disability Today Network, he has created a one-of-a-kind online information village for the greater disability community. An award-winning journalist and inductee into the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame, Jeff is a respected advocate and highly sought-after public speaker.
His signature presentations - “Small Victories” & "Formula for Success" - sensitively encourage others to carefully consider what success means to them individually. Above and beyond his compelling story of overcoming personal injury and his achievements as a decorated elite athlete and prominent publisher, Jeff speaks candidly and humorously about the small victories in his life that truly define this double-arm amputee’s formula for success.
Jeff introduces you to the DT Network. The second video is content from the DT Network - Emily shares what she has learned about the wheelchairs used by athletes with disabilities.
36 years ago, when Jeff was 11 years old, him and his friends ventured out after a major blizzard and discovered the fence around a pumping station had been knocked down. They entered the property, and promptly started flying down huge snowdrifts on their toboggans. Being kids, their curiosity got the better of them, and they soon found themselves entering the station. Reaching out, Jeff touched a piece of machinery. It was a transformer that hit him with 27,000 volts. Jeff remembers being pulled from the station and rushed to a nearby hospital, and seeing looks of horror on the faces of the doctors and nurses. He was transferred to a burn unit at a Hamilton hospital, where both his arms were amputated above the elbow.
Growing up in Essex County, Jeff had participated in a number of sports. Like many Canadian children he played a lot of hockey and had dreams of one day turning a double play for the Detroit Tigers. For many people, having both arms amputated would have shattered any dreams of an athletic career; but Jeff, with the support of his family, is not one to give up easily. He credits his father for encouraging him to get “back in the game”. His dad made modifications to his hockey equipment so it could be used with his artificial arms. Jeff begrudgingly was sent out on the ice. Tears and all, he was taught not be a quitter. He learned that, “If I could play hockey again with two artificial arms, well… maybe I could do anything if I tried.”
Jeff realized that with his disability, hockey that wasn’t the ideal sport, so he made the switch to track. He went on to win three medals in the Paralympic games. His record in the 400 metre sprint from the Seoul games in 1988 stands to this day. He is now a married father of two, and was recently awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal and inducted into the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame.
Bidders who wish to have lunch with Jeff must get themselves to Toronto in order to receive their reward.
Eat lunch with Jeff or have a call over Skype
Have a healthy lunch with Jeff in Toronto or have a video Skype chat with him for up to half an hour. Feel free to ask him about his Paralympic journey, his publishing work, or his love for sports! Jeff is a highly sought-after speaker whose inspiring story has touched many people from all walks of life. Bidders wishing to have lunch with Jeff must be able to get to Toronto on their own, and may be having lunch with one other bidder as well.