Grand Forks, ND
University of North Dakota
Benjamin grew up in North Dakota and played basketball, football and baseball as a child and was introduced to track and field in middle school. He focused on the pole vault in high school where he excelled and was hoping it would lead to a college scholarship. His life changed on October 19, 2011 when a motorcycle accident resulted in transection of his spinal cord at the T5 level and complete paraplegia. After surgery to fuse Benjamin’s spinal column with titanium rods he was flown to Craig Hospital in Denver Colorado where he spent several months rehabilitating his body and learning to transition to his new reality. Benjamin’s cousin Brandon Johnson is a USC graduate and Swim With Mike alumnus and their aunt Jennifer is a Swim With Mike board member. Benjamin is pursuing a degree in Psychology and hopes to help people who are dealing with life challenges.