Meet Barney Miller, the man who inspires surfer Mick Fanning

“I don't set out to inspire people, I just know what I want out of life and what I want to do… If it inspires people, I'm stoked.”WATCH: Barney describes the incredible moment he discovered Mick Fanning’s world championship was dedicated to him.

Posted by 60 Minutes Australia on Sunday, March 27, 2016

Pro surfer Mick Fanning had a really tough 2015 and he said it was his friend, Barney Miller who inspired him to continue.

Miller is paralyzed from the waist down and Fanning said it’s his determination to walk again that has inspired him to continue giving his all.

The two struck up a friendship during a surf contest at Jeffreys Bay in South Africa, the same place where Fanning later encountered a great white shark.

Fanning went to help Miller get a better view of the contest and the two have been tight ever since.

When Miller was 20 years old, he was in a car accident and was told he would never walk again.

He has been working for 17 years to prove doctors wrong. When he met his wife, Kate, he said he wouldn’t propose to her until he could get down on one knee, a feat which Fanning helped with.

Barney Miller
Barney Miller and Mick Fanning share a love of surfing and inspire each other to do better.

Fanning introduced Miller to a physical trainer and was there with Miller when he stood for the first time since being paralyzed.

It’s Miller who helped Fanning continue on last year, a year that was full of hardship for the pro surfer. He was attacked by a shark during a contest, his brother died right before the world title championship at the Billabong Pipe Masters and his marriage ended.

“It’s incredible to have that willpower to move forward and just say ‘No, I’m not going to give up, I’m just going to do my best’,” Fanning said in a new documentary You and Me. “He’s definitely a huge inspiration in my life.”

The duo were profiled last night on Australia’s 60 Minutes.

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