Joe’s story began in the coastal paradise of Noosa Heads, where he grew up and found his passion for surfing. However, one fateful day out surfing he had a bizarre collision, leaving him with a numb forehead. Initially, he dismissed it, thinking it was just a minor incident.
Days turned into weeks, and the numbness continued, spreading down the right side of his face. A doctor suggested a pinched nerve, but the symptoms worsened. Concerned, Joe underwent an MRI scan, which revealed multiple lesions on his brain, a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The news left him stunned, but Joe was determined to confront the challenge.
MS made surfing a daunting challenge. Fatigue and temperature sensitivity weighed heavily on his spirit. After months of being out of the water and battling depression, Joe sought help from occupational and sports therapists, who guided his rehabilitation.
An opportunity to surf in wave pools at Surf Lakes was an opportunity Joe couldn’t refuse. Joe, with the support of his partner, embarked on a journey that would change his life. The perfect waves in the middle of the Australian bush provided a sense of happiness and accomplishment he thought he had lost.
Joe’s mission became clear – to share his experience with others facing adversity due to MS or mental health issues. Embracing his condition, he saw it as a sidekick that had opened his heart to resilience and compassion. Now, he aims to inspire and raise awareness for the wider MS community.