Dallas Disbro has a heart for truly loving life. Residing in the D.C. area, Dallas is originally from the suburbs of Detroit, and eventually moved to a town outside Charlotte, N.C. with his family when he was 10 years old. When it was time for college, Dallas chose Virginia Military Institute, and half-way through his cadetship switched to become a springboard diver and began diving competitively.
It was after college that Dallas moved to Washington D.C., a city he fell in love with during an internship with the Department of Energy in his senior year of college. Ten years have passed since his first visit to D.C., and Dallas has no intention of moving any time soon! Today, Dallas is a Financial Solutions Advisor for Merrill Lynch and is actively involved with the community he has built.
On Memorial Day weekend in 2016, Dallas and a group of friends were in Ocean City, Maryland enjoying the holiday weekend on the beach. While diving off the dock, Dallas broke his neck, sustaining a C5 incomplete spinal cord injury. “It’s quite the miracle I’m even alive”, Dallas shares, while reflecting on the details of that day. The moment of his injury, a woman nearby on a boat witnessed the event, jumping off the boat to help save him. As fate would have it, the woman was someone that Dallas knew and also happened to be a nurse; promptly calling an airlift to take Dallas to the hospital, where he had surgery the following day in Baltimore. If it wasn’t for her, Dallas isn’t sure if he’d be alive. “I was drowning and several random women got someone to help get me out of the water. I am so fortunate.”
After five months of rehab in Atlanta, Dallas came back to D.C. and began to reintegrate into his life back home, participating in outpatient therapy and involving himself in the community even more.
Active on social media, Dallas shares with his followers that while it may now be over 5 years since his injury, there is a life beyond the limitations that the world – and others – try to place on him, and anyone else living with a disability. From riding camels in Petra, skydiving for his 30th birthday, or his recent trip to Italy, Dallas is embracing life and showing up fully for whatever life throws his way, challenges and all.
In his sharing, Dallas understands that not everything is a highlight reel, and often shares about what he is navigating with to help other people on their own path with disability, while educating others.
“There are things that are out of our control, and things that are medically that are different from someone who doesn’t have an injury. Everyone who has a spinal cord injury knows about what it’s like going to the bathroom with an SCI. You schedule your entire life around it and it dictates a lot of your life, and everyone has a different way of going about it. And that is just one thing that is a reality.”
One of the biggest shifts for Dallas was his mindset. Early on, he shares that emotions were high for him as he adjusted to these bodily changes. “It’s all about your mindset. For me, years ago I would cry and struggle with depression whenever I struggled adjusting to how I had to use the bathroom. Now, I just laugh. I do what I have to do to get through those moments, and I become stronger because of it.” These experiences have shaped Dallas, helping him live fully. He continues, “This will happen, it’s not an if, it’s a when. So it’s all about how you deal with it, and I see it as just one more crazy story to add to the book!”
Why Dallas Chooses UroStat
As Dallas became more involved in the community, his impact became larger. In 2020, Sheltering Arms Institute, a collaboration with VCU Health, celebrated the grand opening of the Dallas Disbro Ability Center. This SCI and complex care recovery unit exists within the hospital and has a dedicated gym for advanced rehab equipment, patient equipment, therapy and nutrition rooms, and a bodyweight support system for gait training outside of the gym setting. Additionally, Dallas is the President for the D.C. United Spinal Chapter, and it doesn’t stop there!
Dallas has used UroStat as his catheter provider for 3 years, and has begun working alongside UroStat in recent months as a content creator. We asked Dallas why he chooses UroStat over other providers, and the answer is simple: because the people who run UroStat are wheelchair users themselves. This intimate knowledge makes Dallas feel understood and connected to the company in a way that other companies don’t.
It’s evident when talking to Dallas that his gift is seeing the joy available in every moment. He seeks adventure. He has a heart for helping others in the disability community. He is grateful for his life. These things are the reasons why Dallas, a little over five years since his injury, is only just getting started.