Matt cohen

From a top Motorcycle Stunt Riding, to being in a wheelchair and competing in triathlons… Matt Cohen is an incredible South African inspiring us all.

 

Just a little over a decade ago, Matt Cohen represented South Africa as one of the best freestyle motocross riders the country had ever seen. He injured himself in a severe accident which put him in a wheelchair, which doctors said would be for life.

Since then, Matt has opened businesses, assisted underprivileged kids with wheelchair access, competes in cycle challenges and is working towards gaining full functionality of his legs.

Matt found his passion for Motorcycle’s at a young age & became heavily involved in Motorcycle Stunt Riding while in high school. His dedication & ambition to the sport quickly showed results in the ranks while competing.

The sport itself is incredibly complex, characterised by stunts involving acrobatic manoeuvring of the motorcycle and sometimes even the rider.

“That was my sport and my life, I got to ride everyday and just loved to be doing what I loved.”

At the top of his game, at just 18 years old, Matt injured himself in a serious accident which put him in a wheelchair, for what doctors believed to be for life.

During a practice run, he was involved in an accident on his bike, which caused a spinal cord injury of his C6 & C7 vertebrae, an incredibly severe break.

“While in the hospital, my mother got told that I would never walk again and that I would need to be assisted with everything, she had the incredibly hard task of telling me what the doctors had said.”

“But even though the Doctors had made that call… it’s wasn’t up to them, it was up to me & what I wanted, so I decided that I would prove them wrong.”

The incredible South African refused to allow his disability to limit his potential, or change his life in any way. He also made the decision to exhaust all resources to find a way to walk again.

Matt juggles his daily routine between managing various businesses, spending time with family and friends and going to vigorous and lengthy treatments.

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Eleven years ago, the Doctors may have prescribed a diagnosis, but through dedication, perseverance, rigorous physio and medical routines, Matt can already walk unassisted with crutches.

“In the beginning I couldn’t feed myself, I literally couldn’t do anything by myself but I worked at getting better everyday.”

“It wasn’t easy, it’s still not easy and I don’t see progress everyday but everyday I’m thankful to be alive and have the opportunity to do the things I do.”

The competitive sportsman has also found a new passion in cycling races and triathlons, he even has his sights set on competing in the next ‘Iron Man‘.

Matt Cohen

Cohen also believes in giving back, making a difference & helping others in situations similar to his.

The inspirational South African contributes to a program which gives wheelchairs to the underprivileged as well as offering talks with regards to awareness and education on spinal cord injuries.

Matt is a true inspiration to all South Africans & lives by a simple quote which we should all adopt:

“Live out of your imagination, not just your history”

His social media is a hub of motivation with videos and pictures of his progress… to see more check out @Matticakes on Instagram.

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About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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