Meet ErikErik injured over 5 years ago recently joined our life coaching program. Erik has not let his C3/4 spinal cord injury keep him from moving forward with his life.

His goals are to finish his degree at CSUN and develop a Violence Prevention program for schools in the San Fernando Valley. Erik has already accomplished a great deal. He is a Violence Prevention Specialist and is the co-author of a book based on his own life experiences, entitled “PayBack, The Cost of Being A Gangster”.




Meet IgnacioIgnacio is by far one of the most inspiring people we have had the privilege of working with. Injured at the young age of 20 from a gunshot wound, Ignacio has lived in a skilled nursing home since his discharge from Rancho.

His goals in the KnowBarriers Life Coaching program were to meet more people his age, be more independent in his environment and obtain his GED. Ignacio obtained funding to purchase recommended assistive technology to access the computer from the Rancho Los Amigos Foundation. He found a GED program and has been attending for 18 months. Ignacio wakes up 5 days a week, at approximately 6am in order for the nurses to get him ready for his 8am pick up. He spends all day at school, asking classmates to assist him with drinking water, taking his medication or grabbing a bite to eat. He returns to the facility at approximately 8:30pm.

This past year Ignacio began traveling to see his family in San Diego. This is a “first”, since his injury eight years ago. Ignacio demonstrates better than any of our mentors how to direct his care and carry on an active, productive and social life despite living in a skilled nursing facility.



Meet MaggieMaggie has a C4 spinal cord injury and was one of our first Life Coaching graduates.

Her goals included becoming a more involved parent to her son and finding a healthier living environment. Maggie found the courage, and with the help of KnowBarriers, the resources to move out on her own; and for the first time in her life, she is the sole care provider for her son. Today she and her son live in an apartment with her care providers right next door. She enjoys her role as a full time Mom and can be found chatting on the internet every day.




Meet AnaOne of her first goals was to enroll into school and learn English. The second one was to move to Glendale, and lastly to return to work.

Today, Ana volunteers at the Rancho Gift Shop. She is enrolled in school and has moved to Glendale with one of her sisters. Ana reports that being a part of KnowBarriershas helped her gain more confidence in herself to accomplish her goals.




Meet ChrisThrough the help of his KnowBarriers life coach Antonio, Chris reduced his debt by 50%, successfully applied for a grant, and has one semester of college to obtain his AA degree in Web and Graphic Design.

Today, Chris uses a voice activated voice system to control appliances in his home and currently is working with Bobbie Jean Tanberg updating the KnowBarriers website. Congratulations to Chris and his beautiful fiancee Iris on there recent engagement!!!

Some times life isn't fair, but I believe things happen for a reason and we need to accept our new lives, learn from it, and move forward and make the best of each day. Remember, disable does not mean unable.




Meet MayraCurrently, Mayra is a full time student and also an active member of the Rancho Wellness Center Program. She recently danced in the Performing Arts Show and traveled with the Outdoor Adventure Program.

Mayra's quiet, but strong spirit has allowed her to persevere after her spinal cord injury, reach her goals. She is a role model of what it means to have a KnowBarriers attitude.




Meet HectorAfter a great deal of hard work and perseverence, Juice achieved and completed his final goal by completing 26.2 miles on his hand cycle in the Long Beach Marathon.

Hector has already set his next goal;singing at Dodger Stadium!!!





Meet LarryThe most important life skills he says he learned from the program include orginization, listening skills, and patience.

Today, Larry is pursuing his GED and believing in himself no matter what.We look forward to Larry sharing his positive attitude with Rancho patients as a KnowBarriers Peer Mentor.