Nerissa Cannon

Nerissa’s personal battles with mental health and chronic illness have made her passionate about helping other people get the most out of life in spite of a disabling condition. Whether she is on the beach, rock climbing, street luging, or salsa dancing, Nerissa uses her life to demonstrate that illness and injury don’t mean you have to lose your sense of adventure.


“Even though I need special equipment to hike now, I can still get the same satisfaction of being out in nature. It’s exhilarating to feel my heart pump as I work over an obstacle or up a good hill.”


“I feel that climbing provides the greatest metaphor for tackling the challenges and obstacles life throws at us . . .It’s not about doing things a certain way. It’s about finding your way (your “style”)—even if it looks different than other people’s.”


“I don’t like to limit myself to ‘wheelchair accessible’ campsites . . . I prefer to choose the site that looks the most fun to me, even if it is more difficult to get to.”


“I was a big mountain skier before I needed to use a wheelchair. It took me 5 years to get back to skiing on a mountain, but I got back there.”