Posted by Carol Hutchinson on Dec 22, 2019
Guest Speaker: John Cairns, Friday, January 10, 2020
Location:  Fairmont, Imperial Room
Topic: "Having a Leg To Stand On in 2020"
Host:  Bert Steenburgh
  • Upon completion from high school, John became employed with Canadian National Railways.  Instantly, all John’s goals and dreams both personally and professionally tumbled into an abyss of devastation.  On November 30, 1992, at the age of 26, while assembling a train in Toronto yard, John was run over by a 68 ton railway car. John instantly suffered the loss of his right arm and right leg.
  • After four months recovery at Sunnybrook Trauma Center, John spent the next two years at the Worker’s Compensation Rehabilitation Center, re-learning activities of daily living all over again, all while losing his right-side dominance. Through the efforts of dedicated professionals, John’s own self-determination, vision and commitment, John has adopted an undefeated winning attitude.
  • John has dedicated his life to enhancing the quality of people’s lives by sharing his own battles and victories to motivate and be a lighthouse of encouragement. John aspires to inspire to make a difference towards improving human and community capital. John is a graduate from the University of Waterloo in Social Development Studies and Social Work Degree program.
John is the Past President of The Rotary Club of Belleville. John is past Director and Alumni with the Quinte Health Care Board of Directors and Belleville General Hospital Foundation. John is a recipient of Volunteer Award for Excellence in Volunteer Service, Rotary International Presidential Citation, and recipient of the Les Faludy Award of Leadership Excellence. John was the Past Chair of the Board of Directors for Volunteer Information Quinte, an Advisory-Member of Belleville Municipal Accessibility Advisory Council, Board Member with Quinte Children’s Foundation, and Board Member of the Quinte West Chamber of Commerce. John is the CEO and Founder of Wheelchair of Hope Foundation, providing hope, and independence through freedom of mobility. 
  • In 2016, John received Canada’s Walk of Fame Unsung Hero Award of Canada for outstanding Philanthropic Service. 
  • John enjoys participating in various sports; golfing; snow-boarding, mountain climbing, swimming. He is a certified advanced scuba-diver and skydives. John participated in Dancing With The Stars in support of Volunteer Information Quinte. John has also successfully summited the world’s tallest free standing mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro on August 7th, 2016, in Tanzania, Africa. Most recently, John successfully summited Mount Everest Base Camp at 6400M, in May 2018 in an inspiring and advocacy role for humanity.
  • John has recently been appointed as the Honourary Colonel CFB Trenton 8Wing 2 Air Movement Squadron.
As a Motivational Speaker -John delivers his dynamic positive attitude presentation with heart, wit and wisdom to thousands of people within local and national audiences. John call’s his tragedy a “gift”..a gift he now shares with others! Turning "impossibilities into possibilities" - has made him a....Voice of Victory!