By Jake Kivanc
As somebody whose life has been an uphill battle, Chandler Borland has a level of determination and drive that most people only dream of.
Raised in a low income neighbourhood of Peterborough by a single mother, Borland, 20, has been dealt the short end of the stick for most of his life.
Borland grew up mostly on his own, with his mother at work and his far older siblings off somewhere else.
“There was a drug co-op across the street and mold all through the house,” he said. “The landlord wouldn’t do anything, didn’t care. It was a crazy time.”
Borland developed cerebral palsy as a newborn after doctors botched a procedure which resulted in his premature birth, a mistake that would see him spending the first ten years of his life in a wheelchair.
When Borland was seven, he was just beginning to walk and it wouldn’t be until after multiple years of surgeries and physical therapy that walking was remotely possibly.
“I’ve come a long way from where I was,” he said. “I realized awhile ago that I really have no other choice than to keep pushing forward, keep pushing through. Don’t look back.”
Nowadays, Borland finds himself as a secound year business management student at Ryerson who works on the side as a business developer for a marketing firm.
Upon coming to Ryerson over a year ago, Borland says the level of diversity on campus was a “welcome” change.
“Everyone’s able to bring a different perspective, because we’ve all grown up in different areas and have different adversities that have developed different strengths,” he said. “It’s really great.”
Borland’s vision is grand: from opening his own media firm, to going to law school and even travelling the world.
But while the road before him is long and tenuous, Borland says that he’s ready.
“Being able to get up in the morning is hard,” he said. “But there’s no other way to get ahead if you don’t try to improve yourself. Don’t pay attention to the negativity, focus on building yourself. I’m gonna keep going, it doesn’t matter what.”