I started acting at the age of five, taking part in theatre and Broadway plays at various theatres across Ontario, Canada. Eventually, I moved on to commercials, TV, print and film after being signed to an agency and management company. I managed to land roles in multiple TV shows, commercials, print ads and a couple of short films.
When I was in elementary school I assisted kids who had disabilities. I just wanted to help others, but I was treated differently because of it and was made fun of by many of the students in the school. This didn’t stop me from helping, because I felt it was my job to help others.
Eventually, the bullying got so bad that I broke down. I would go home at night and cry in my room wishing the bullying would stop, but it didn't, it just got worse. Students from the school eventually figured out where I lived and started to egg my house. I would return to school only to be called nasty names and treated like a nobody; like I didn't have feelings or a personality. I couldn't take it anymore. I was tired of being harassed, put down and treated poorly. I tried to commit suicide on more than one occasion but kept getting stopped by a friend or just couldn't find the guts to go through with the suicide. I eventually ended up in the hospital and got help from counselors and doctors.
I was put on medication and diagnosed with depression and anxiety, but this didn't stop me from reaching for my goals. All of the negative energy encouraged me to take a stand and use it for something positive, and that's just what I did.
I now inspire people by sharing my story. I shared my story on W.A.V.E. which was featured at The Living Arts Centre and was put on by the one and only Louise Russo. At this event, I took the stage with Shane Kippel from Degrassi and Life with Derek. Both Shane Kippel and I spoke about the seriousness of bullying and shared our inspiring stories to over 2,000 students. I plan to find more ways to share my story with the world and hope to inspire many.
"I want to be an inspiration to others. I really want the world to know my story and I want people to know they are NEVER alone and that it WILL and it DOES get better, just think positive".
On Saturday, February 27, 2016 I experienced a tragic accident: I slipped on black ice and fell off a 30-foot cliff in Hamilton (Albion Falls). It took more than 30 first responders over two hours to get me up from the cliff and to Hamilton General Hospital.
The injuries were serious. I experienced a torn aorta which took four hours to repair in surgery and my back was broken in four places with an L1 burst. After seven hours of back surgery I now have rods and screws holding my back together. I also suffered several broken bones: five in my pelvic bone and my left arm was shattered, resulting in a three hour surgery to rebuild it. I also had a brain bleed and a stroke from the fall.
Needless to say, after a week in the ICU, a month in step-down trauma and another six months in three different hospitals I wasn’t sure if I would ever walk again.
I was transferred to Lyndhurst where I quickly learned how life had changed. Although I could walk with assistance I was still paralyzed from the waist down.
The help of Toronto Rehab’s Lyndhurst Centre and their Spinal Cord Injury unit has given me another story to tell. I now share my spinal cord injury story to promote safety awareness as well as to teach about disability and accessibility.
Although I am now able to walk and stand again, I have had a range of ongoing medical issues due to my accident. Along with physical symptoms that I am still dealing with, I also battle with depression which started when I was paralyzed. I am excited to get back to work as it keeps me busy and helps me cope with the effects of my accident.
My back surgeon said, “I have done this surgery 1000’s of times. I know five patients that are walking, Corey is one. A true inspiration.”