I am a former Marine Special Operations Officer and a paraplegic. I was paralyzed on June 14th, 2012 while conducting combat operations in the Helmand Province, Afghanistan when I was shot in the spine (T6-T7) while leading my team on patrol.

Since this time I have been rehabilitating, recovering and researching as much as I can about Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI). I returned to work as a Staff Officer in January of 2013. I have decided to share my story through this website so that I can share information about topics I have researched, others can learn from my mistakes, and offer outsiders a glimpse of what it’s like to deal with SCI. I have participated in many different forms of therapy and recreating including clinical research, para-triathlon, and exoskeleton use.

I earned a Master’s of Business Administration at the UCLA Anderson School of Management in July 2015.  I then founded Spinal Singularity, a company that designs devices to improve the quality of life for people with Spinal Cord Injury and Disease (SCI/D).  Our device, the Connected Catheter, is currently in clinical studies at sites across the US.

Derek LA Marathon Hand Cycle @2x

Outside of work I support three non-profit organizations in a formal capacity.  They are the Marine Raider Foundation, American Technion Society, and MVPvets.