Junior represents National Easter Seals

Roberto Campos

Motocross was an activity the Trockman family enjoyed and participated in for years, but in 2006 Ben Trockman was involved in an accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down. 

On Nov. 21, Ben became a 2012 National Easter Seals Representative, an organization that has helped him through his rehabilitation. Easter Seals is a local nonprofit organization that helps kids with their rehabilitation and disabilities. 

“It really an honor to be able to speak on behalf of so many people that can’t really speak for themselves,” Ben said. “It’s kind of crazy that you get chosen for something like this, having a national organization like this ask you to be their representative.”

While he did not think much of the local Easter Seals’ request to put him in the running for national spokesman, Ben agreed to put his name in.

“Easter Seals went through a process where they go through videos and things said and written,” Ben said. “Eventually they called me and I went through a telephone interview and they choose me.”

A month and a half ago Ben traveled to a convention in Washington D.C., representing Easter Seals.

“It is really a privilege to be able to be a part of something like this,” Ben said. “I met people from Canada, Australia, Mexico. It’s just crazy to know that you’re actually a spokesperson for the largest nonprofit organization in America. 

As the 2012 Adult Easter Seals Representative, Ben will travel and speak to people around the United States. This is not the first time Ben has represented the organization, he was also the 2010 adult representative for Southwestern Indiana. Following his injury Ben received treatment in Atlanta and Baltimore but eventually wanted somewhere closer home.

“I went to a whole bunch of different places for therapy, most of the great places are away from Evansville,” Ben said. “A spinal cord injury isn’t something that is very common everywhere and Easter Seals has been able to treat me physically.”

“We’ve been grateful for Easter Seals,” Ben’s mother Jill Trockman said. “Ever since Ben got hurt they’ve been by our side to help him with anything therapy, give us advice and they never asked for anything in return.”

After his injury Ben could not move. Over time he has made progress to the point where he can bicep curl up to 15 pounds and can feel throughout his limbs.

“Doctors tell you right of the bat that being able to move is going to be the case forever,” Ben said. “When you get to that point you really need to do exercise to stimulate that and that’s what Easter Seals does, they help me continue to rebuild my strength so I can regain function and movement back.”

Ben, a junior public relations major, had rode motocross bikes for five years prior to the accident.

“Me and my brother and my dad all rode, it’s something that we all did for fun,” Ben said.

On the day of the accident, the Trockmans and family friends traveled to Poole, Ky., to go racing. 

“We had never raced there before, and of course one day we end up doing it,” Ben said. “The track that we raced on wasn’t layed out very well. We had really only practiced riding there before.”

The jump was the last thing Ben remembered, and when he woke up, nine days had passed. He was in a hospital in Atlanta trying to piece everything together.

“I really don’t remember a lot from that day,” Ben said. “I think your memory whenever something traumatic happens really blocks it out for you, and I’m kind of thankful of because you could definitely have some dark dreams about it.” 

The accident caused the Trockman family to readjust family life to accompany Ben’s condition.

“We’ve become a lot closer because you need assistance from a lot of people, you can’t do everything yourself,” Ben said. “This has been something that has brought us a lot closer as a family.” 

“It was devastating in the beginning because it was if you had a death in the family,” Jill said. “Your whole life changes, from the time you get up in the morning till the time you go to bed at night, it’s different. But now we’ve become closer and stronger.” 

Ben and his family are excited for what the future holds for him and what lies ahead for him being the 2012 representative.

“This is kind of Ben’s and our way to give back and pay it forward to the organization that has given so much to him and to us,” Jill said. “We’re really proud Ben, he’s strong and upbeat, and I’m proud that he’s my son.”

“Things could have been different if I hadn’t been in the accident, but here we are and I’m content with it,” Ben said.