Photograph of Myryja


“It's a minority you can become part of at any given time, even if it's just temporary, it can happen.”

“I remember going, Hey, I'm floating. And then black.”

This was the last thing Myryja remembers before she woke up along a stretch of the Alaska Highway, staring up at the sky. She says she didn’t really think about her spine consciously, she just knew not to move a muscle.

Luckily, an off duty EMT happened to be driving the stretch of highway and within 10 minutes of Myryja’s car accident, they were on scene and calling for help.

This was the start of a whole new chapter of Myryja’s life.

She spent many weeks down south in the hospital, going through an extended surgery and recovery period.

“You get a whole bunch of attention in the first few weeks and then it just dies off. Then you're like, I'm alone, I'm broke, and I still have to learn how to re-walk, how to redo a lot of things.”

The accident also resulted in a diagnosis of ADHD with a learning disability, as well as complex post-traumatic stress disorder. Unfortunately, she found there were large gaps in the system for supporting that re-integration into life for patients, especially those with a more complex neurodivergent diagnosis like herself.

“It's just so difficult to explain and articulate in a way that makes sense to somebody else.”

It was from this experience, along with starting a peer support group for those who are differently abled, that the idea for the Accessibility Olympics was born.

The Accessibility Olympics took place in March 2023, and gave members of City Council, the public, and government officials the opportunity to navigate Main Street in a wheelchair, crutches, or using a walker. To experience first-hand how many businesses don’t have accessible entrances, or only use temporary ramps.

“I really wanted to emphasize, especially to the City, what the struggles are actually like…We got them to point out things they thought were barriers to accessibility, and what we can do to fix them as well.”

Myryja wants our community to create real accessibility for everyone. “Because it's not fair.. If somebody becomes disabled …It's a minority you can become part of at any given time, even if it's just temporary, it can happen. “

“The goal is to make Yukon the shining star in accessibility.” Myryja proudly says.

Portrait by GBP Creative