Higinio “Gene” Laureano

Retired Private First Class, US Army.  Gene served in the army from 1980-1983, and trained with the marines at Ft. Hood, TX.  He credits his service for his success today.  A successful welder, Gene fell 20 feet while on the job repairing an awning, causing a spinal cord injury resulting in paraplegia.  He participates in…

Tom Hall

Petty officer 2nd class US Navy. Tom joined the navy after one year of college to take a break from school and see the world some.  He was in the navy for 6 years and is a Gulf War vet.  A motorcycle accident in 2001 caused his complete spinal cord injury, resulting in paraplegia.  An…

Todd Kemery

Corporal Todd joined the marines in 1978 and served in Okinawa, Japan as a helicopter mechanic.  While in California in 1982 he was enjoying the ocean when he was rolled in the surf, causing an incomplete spinal cord injury.

Eric Scot Poehler

Scot served in the Air Force as an aircraft instrument repairman, completing a tour of duty in Vietnam.  After his military service he earned a college degree and became a professional photographer. In 2006 a car accident caused a complete spinal cord injury, resulting in paraplegia. He continues to be very active and participates in…

Benjamin Keechler

Ben served in the United States Army as a helicopter mechanic, serving in one tour to Korea.He continued in the private sector as a mechanic following his service. While on a camping trip with his family he felt poorly and lay down, at which time he started feeling numbness in his hands. By morning he…

Jon Schuetz

Jon fell in love with ocean when he lived in Florida, and always wanted to learn to scuba dive. He did snorkel in the Florida Keys and knew one day he would dive below. In 2007 Jon was in a motorcycle accident that broke four bones in his neck, resulting in quadriplegia.  Jon now works…

Kathryn McCabe

Kathryn suffered a stroke in 2012 and is working hard to regain strength in her right side.  She walks with a cane and enjoys the water. A diver before her stroke, she is working to enjoy this sport again despite her hemiplegia.

Cody Johnson

Cody joined the Marines and spent a year and a half in the infantry before being medically discharged, a problem with his ankles. In 2014 Cody suffered a gunshot wound to his left leg, which had to be amputated. In 2015 he applied to the Dive Pirates Foundation after a friend at the gym told…

Courtney Mazzola

Courtney has been blind since birth, and perceives some movement and light. She lovesocean and can’t wait to feel the open space of underwater. She never even thought about diving until friend and dive pirate Michael Malarsie convinced her to give it a try. Now she can’t wait!

Avery Downing

Avery is an amazing young lady, an accomplished gymnast who fell while practicing on the unevenbars, a fall that caused a spinal cord injury. Now a person with paraplegia, Avery is very independent and drives herself. She loves a challenge and has been looking forward to diving.