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They said he would
never walk again

Gary Reinblatt

Here I was lying in a hospital; I came within a quarter inch of dying. I was paralyzed. So I said to myself regardless of whatever happens here I’m alive and I am going to live life to the maximum.” That is what 46 year old Gary Reinblatt told himself following a near fatal skiing accident in March 1990 on Grouse Mountain, British Columbia. He had flown out from Toronto with his family for a week-end of skiing. In one split second Gary, a native of Montréal, the number two man in the giant McDonalds chain headquarted in Toronto, was near death the result of hitting a tree while skiing downhill at breakneck speed. Breakneck is the correct word because that is what happened. He became an instant quadriplegic.

Doctors predicted he would never walk again. The best he could ever hope for was life in a wheelchair. I visited him in the hospital, when I saw him I sadly agreed that the doctor’s medical prognosis was correct, Gary’s only movement was a slight shrug of one shoulder. What the doctors did not have knowledge of were Gary’s positive attitude and his fierce determination to win. A determination that took him from a Montreal advertising agency copywriter to Vice President and Marketing Manager of McDonalds Canada. From the first day of his accident in 1990 he has absolutely refused to accept the medical expert’s prognosis. He now walks laboriously with a walker, drives a specially outfitted car, he and wife Sandy take cruise’s and holidays, He told me recently “Dick, I got back more movement than was ever dreamed of. After all I’m alive and I better get on with the rest of my life” Although he is on long term disability from McDonalds, he still volunteers his marketing and management expertise for the Ronald McDonalds Houses, as well as a number of charitable organizations and hospital foundation. He is popular on the motivational banquet circuit where he inspires audiences by mixing his marketing knowledge with his personal experience of overcoming obstacles through sheer determination and positive thinking. His message to everyone is “Never be afraid of life, because this isn’t a dress rehearsal.”

Gary Reinblatt, a most inspiring Canadian Achiever.
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