Nino Batagelj, Ljubljana
A young man of many interests overcomes all obstacles
The following story is a story that many of us should remember when facing unexpected circumstances in life. We believe that this reminder will motivate many of us to start searching for solutions and to take action aimed at improving conditions we live in. This is an extraordinary and inspiring story about a special young man, Nino.
Nino is a 27-year-old student at the Academy of Media Production. As a lover of sports, he is an internationally recognized competitive fitness athlete and swimmer. He is also skiing and has participated in the Red Bull bobsled competitions for years. In spite of his active social life, he still has enough time to be an ambassador of the Wings for Life World Run organization raising money for the Wings for Life spinal-cord injury research foundation.
Nino’s active and successful life deserves recognition and although he believes that there is nothing special about him, many people would be surprised to find out that he has been a tetraplegic for several years – ever since he suffered an unfortunate spinal-cord injury.
We can say that in spite of the fact that we have met many people whose conditions are not nearly as serious as his when talking to Nino, he radiates optimism, spontaneity and positivity. It is thanks to such an attitude that we know that he is going to be a successful man and that he is charismatic enough to positively influence people he interacts with.
Apart from all mentioned activities, one of the most important for the broader community is his collaboration with the Association of People Suffering from Paraplegia – Ljubljana. This Association is engaged in an educational programme intended for schools focused on raising awareness of children and adolescents about invalidity.
The mission of this programme is to remove the stigma associated with invalidity, quite often in relation to various forms of disability. Nino is the right person for such an effort. He can serve as a role model demonstrating that positive attitude and determination can show us the way to experience the fullness of life. The second part of the mission of this educational programme is to raise awareness of young people that a spinal-cord injury can happen to anybody, hence we all should be more careful while engaging in sports and other recreational activities, as well as while driving – since traffic accidents are the most frequent cause of spinal-cord injuries.
Nino has a lot of plans for his future and we are certain that he will do his best to carry them out. We are also grateful for his lightness, wit and sense of humour we witnessed during the time we spent with him. We are honoured to have gained the trust of such an inspiring young man with such interesting opinions about active living and self-determination as a precondition for a good life.
Since the wellbeing of primary users of our medical aids is at the core of all our activities, we are doing our best to be there for you at all times. This is why we provide financial donations to disability sports organizations and clubs so that they would be in the position to secure better working and training conditions.