Writer, Author & Speaker

Humberto “Beto” Gurmilan

As passionate young surfer, and at age 15, riding my last wave of the day, I broke my neck and was paralyzed from the chest down. With my family’s support, my friends and faith, I accomplished many of my dreams including becoming a sportscaster. Today, I serve as Communications Manager for Sustainability and Innovation projects at SDG&E and previously was the Press Secretary for San Diego County Supervisor Nora Vargas. I created the Gurmilan Foundation and have proudly transformed a personal tragedy into an inspirational journey to help others.

National Campaign with AccessTrax

Proudly featured in this national campaign by JPMorgan Chase dedicated to championing accessibility in beaches. As a passionate advocate for equal access to the sun, sand, and sea, I stand at the forefront of a movement that aims to break down barriers and make coastal destinations welcoming for everyone. This inspiring initiative, supported by the vision of JPMorgan Chase, highlights AccessTrax and our joint commitment to ensuring that individuals of all abilities can enjoy the beauty of our shores. Find out more about this effort via www.gurmilanfoundation.org & www.accesstrax.com on this transformative journey towards a more inclusive community.


Un Vez Más, or “Once again,” documents the everyday life of Beto Gurmilan and takes an inside look at how he has overcome a catastrophic spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed at the age of 15. It takes a glimpse into his life and follows him through his unpredictable daily life as a professional broadcaster, college professor and how he motivates others to accomplish their goals and live a happy and fulfilling life. For Beto, the ocean was a source of inspiration and surfing was a way of life. In Una Vez Más he looks to complete what could be his greatest feat yet as he tries to surf again after 19 years away from the sport. This film was shot in the Summer of 2013 in San Diego and Tijuana and premiered September 24th of that year. Since the screening the film received three regional NATAS PSW Emmys for best Documentary, Best Direction and Best Editing. 


Join me in episode #41 as I share my incredible life journey on the HOLLYWOOD EDITING MENTOR PODCAST. I’m Humberto Gurmilan, an author, and award-winning journalist, and I’m honored to have had the opportunity to discuss my story with you.

At the age of 15, a surfing accident changed the course of my life, leaving me paralyzed from the neck down. Despite the daunting challenges, I’ve embraced a spirit of resilience and determination, rewriting the boundaries of what’s achievable.

In this episode we take a dive into the strategies I’ve employed to shift perspectives, find strength in vulnerability, and cultivate a resilient mindset.

During our conversation, we also explore my latest book, WAVES OF COURAGE, where I reveal the secrets to harnessing courage and inspire others to overcome life’s challenges.

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By Humberto Gurmilan

Waves of Courage.


Waves of Courage is a guided journey through some life experiences and lessons Humberto Gurmilan went through on his road to recovery after a catastrophic injury. Through surfing and ocean metaphors, Humberto shares his secrets to harnessing the courage within and inspires you to overcome life challenges. Waves of Courage is his second book, and it builds on the life lessons shared in From My Chair, his first title published in 2011. This more refined memoir is an empowering journey for anyone seeking additional knowledge and inspiration to face anything life throws at you.


One of the most important things you can hold on to when facing a huge challenge, or when going through difficult times, is to preserve your goals and dreams…These visions and dreams of your future will help guide the way and become beacons of light, shining bright in the distance to guide you. Goals and dreams will keep you heading in the right direction.

– Beto G.

New Videos

July 23, 2018

Living with Courage Trailer

Welcome to my channel! Here you will see a glimpse of what life is like for a quadriplegic guy trying to thrive in spite of the challenges on the road. You will find Vlogs, tips, reviews, and my perspective on living with paralysis.

Also Available!

Still Available!

From My Chair


“From My Chair” is the chronicle of events that followed a traumatic surfing accident that left Beto Gurmilán paralyzed at the young age of 15.  He revisits his road to recovery from spinal cord injury but also shares perspectives about love, life, family, and some of the keys to happiness that have helped him turn a tragedy into valuable life lessons for everyone to learn from. 

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Para Surfing Must Join the LA28 Paralympics

Para Surfing Must Join the LA28 Paralympics

The announcement that para climbing has been chosen over para surfing for inclusion in the LA28 Paralympics was shocking to me but also a devastating blow for athletes and supporters of adaptive surfing. It is time for the LA28 Organizing Committee to reconsider their...