Billy Lister

Billy was diagnosed with a rare brain abnormality when he was 15 years old, and as a complication from life-saving surgery he suffered a slow and regressive stroke. Every morning he awoke and couldn’t do something he was able to do the day before, type on a keyboard, tie his shoes, brush his teeth, eventually the ability to walk without assistance. After an inconceivable length of 4 weeks, the stroke finally ran its course and completed its permanent destruction on Billy, leaving him neurologically paralyzed on his entire left side. This one-of-a-kind stroke gradually stole Billy’s youth, but not forever.

Having been an athlete his whole life the burden of losing the ability to take part in sports was a tremendous burden to cope with. The void in his identity would eventually spiral into suicidal behavior, in his words he was “only surviving life, not living it”.

Then in 2009, Billy found the thing that saved his life – No Barriers. He was lightyears outside his comfort zone when he attended his first No Barriers Summit in Miami, FL. Within minutes into the Opening Ceremonies, the summit experience instantly sparked the energy inside Billy and revealed how your mindset can radically transform every single aspect of your life. He discovered a universal notion that being physically active with a disability is no different than without one.

Immediately with blind ambition, Billy adopted the No Barriers mindset, imagining what was within him is stronger than what’s in his way.

He has called No Barriers family ever since.

Billy took the No Barriers mindset to a Paratriathlon camp for the Challenged Athletes Foundation in 2011, where he got on a bike for the first time since his 17th birthday.

In 2016, Billy went on to defy all odds and achieve his dream of becoming a United States Paralympian, representing TeamUSA at the Rio de Janeiro games. Along the way, Billy has earned a closet full of National Championships, and numerous medals at International World Cup and World Championship events.

Billy credits No Barriers with creating Olympians.

He shares his relentless ambition of competing for TeamUSA through the LA2028 games, seeking to earn gold on home soil.

TAGS

Ambassadors, Development, Summit, Youth

No Barriers

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