Steve Ziehr was significantly injured in a workplace accident in 2004, falling 30 feet and severely breaking both his legs, effectively obliterating his right ankle. While this could have derailed his goals of building an engineering and construction business and travelling the world, it in fact galvanized his focus and stoked his drive to ensure this challenge did not dictate his life. Early on in this journey, he came to see himself as a torch bearer for those with disabilities whom for whatever reason had become marginalized and thus felt relegated to the fringes of society.
Through his physical rehabilitation, Steve returned to school and earned his Honours Diploma in Civil Engineering Technology, while holding positions as President of the Engineering Technology Club and Student Association Representative. In these roles, Steve spoke for the rights and inclusivity of his fellow students with disabilities, specifically mobility impairments.
Steve then went on to a successful career, managing diverse construction projects around the globe. These included shipyards, hospitals, Olympic Venues, high rise towers, waterparks, and roller coasters.
Through Steve’s journey he was battling degenerative conditions from his initial injuries, effectively every step every day was like “a blowtorch on his ankle.” This culminated in his election to have a below knee amputation of his right leg in August of 2016. Of critical significance in this decision was Steve’s level of comfort with his medical team, from his skilled surgeon, to the amazing rehabilitation staff at GF Strong, to the consummate and savvy professionals at Barber Prosthetics. All have been instrumental in Steve’s launch back into the life he loves, which just recently has included running for the first time in over a decade. Check out the story here.
As previously mentioned, Steve considers himself an advocate for those with disabilities whom find themselves marginalized. Serendipitously, in 2016 Steve became neighbours and good friends with the CEO of Paraworkforce Ltd. They share a vision to improve the lives of people with disabilities and as such plan to partner to create a North American division of Paraworkforce, whose mission statement is to provide pathways for those with mobility impairment to achieve careers in roles where they themselves feel valued, while providing significant value to their company and their community at large.
And of course Steve especially thanks his family and friends for their unwavering support, specifically his wife April and their daughter Madison. Now on to the wakeboarding, surfing, hiking, biking, skydiving...