Springfield resident Brandon White is reclaiming his love of the water and will join other divers on an upcoming trip to Hawaii.
For Brandon White, every day is a new challenge, living with an amputated leg, amputated toes on the other foot, and a right arm that until recently has been lifeless. About a year and a half ago he woke up in the hospital after an 18-day coma after suffering a severe reaction to medication. He’s been learning how to live with different mobility, and thanks to Diventures in Springfield, he’s regained a sport he thought lost to him, scuba diving.
“It’s the first time I felt like my true self since the accident. I hurt every step on land. I have to think and nearly plan every step out before I make it on land but back in the water I just swim,” White said with a smile. “Just like I used too. It feels so good.”
White is a 2017 recipient of the Dive Pirates Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports, trains and equips people with disabilities to scuba dive. White was a certified diver before his accident, and quickly took to the adaptive dive program taught by Classified Dive Instructor Linda Maune with Diventures. Partnering with the Foundation, Diventures is a local chapter of the national organization providing training and guidance.
“I love to teach scuba diving, watching someone take that first breathe under water, introducing people to a new world of possibilities,” explained Maune. “For Brandon, we do some ‘try this’ or ‘maybe that works better’ to adapt things to his new reality, and he’s so excited to know he can dive again, he’s just going to do things a little differently, may need a little more assistance in and out of the boat, but he can do it.”
White is Maune’s second Dive Pirate recipient. She trained Caitlin Moffett as an adaptive diver, and also trained her parents to be adaptive buddy divers so the family could dive together on the Dive Pirates Trip in June to Cayman Brac.
“Diventures is what the Dive Pirates Foundation is all about, a local dive center that gives back to its community, giving a person with limited mobility the freedom of scuba diving,” said Theresa Cortez, Dive Pirates Director of Communications. “And to hear the Moffetts are planning their next dive trip and help grow the local community of adaptive divers, and they have that expertise in Diventures locally to discuss new locations, service gear, and inspire the next recipient, it’s so rewarding. We hope Brandon has the same experience and continues to dive for years to come.”
Maune will be accompanying White on his first Dive Pirates trip to Waikoloa, Hawaii September 16-23, 2017. White and the Dive Pirates Foundation are still raising money to support White’s training, equipment, and travel costs. See and share his fundraising page at http://divepirates.org/donations/brandon-white/
The Dive Pirates Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing scuba diving to persons with disabilities and joining them with the mainstream of divers. Its vision is to create a community of adaptive divers that will dive and travel in the mainstream world of scuba diving through education and overcoming obstacles. For more information about the Foundation go to www.divepirates.org.
Diventures provides full-service swim and scuba experiences, focusing on safety and fun in the water. Our passion for aquatics is reflected in everything we do and our team is committed to enhancing your experience on land and in the water. We are dedicated to unparalleled customer satisfaction and community involvement. Please visit www.diventures.com for more information