Corbyn Smith, local student, athlete, and role model recently visited Listowel Eastdale Public School to share his story on inclusion and to encourage kids to never giving up on their dreams.
Corbyn was born with neuroblastoma, a type of cancer that was very rare at the time but is becoming increasingly more common. The cancerous tumour was wrapped around his spine so at only a few months old, he had two major surgeries to remove the tumour. One from the front and one from the back. However, the tumour had already damaged the nerves for his leg so that he was left with very little feeling in his leg.
His dream of playing hockey like his dad was crushed at a very young age. It was when he was about 5 that a boy from his church introduced him to sledge hockey. He tried it out and fell in love with it right away. He joined the team in Hensall and played with them until it folded.
He then joined the KW Sidewinders in Waterloo where he had continued success. He also played for the Western Division of the Parasport League. Next came Team Ontario, then he made the Development Team for Team Canada and finally made the Team Canada National Team in October 2016.
Since then, he has played in Calgary, Toronto, Prince Edward Island and Turin, Italy. He is heading to South Korea in April to finish off the season. Next year, he is hoping to play in the 2018 Paralympics in South Korea.
Corbyn is a former student of Elma Township Public School and currently attends Listowel District Secondary School.