KBF Ambassador: Liam Wagner
Hello! My name is Liam Wagner. I am 23 years old I am from Binghamton NY, and in June of 2016 a motorcycle accident left me paralyzed. Motorcycles, cars and guitars have been my passion since I was little and thankfully, exercising became a huge part of my life a couple years before my accident. A dramatic weight loss of 72 pounds in 2015 sparked my passion to be as physically fit as I could be. This mindset stayed with me even after the accident. During the winter, staying active was very difficult for me, however in 2018 some changes in my life lead me to have the time to try out something I had wanted to try for a couple years at that point. Adaptive Skiing. The very minute I transferred over, from my wheelchair into a monoski I fell in love, and within that first day, I knew what a beautiful, freeing, exhilarating, sport this was going to be for me.
My coaches at Greek Peak Adaptive Snowsports knew that I would want a future in this sport, so they started sending me ways to obtain the funds to purchase one of these machines as they are quite expensive. This is how I stumbled upon the Kelly Brush Foundation. It seemed surreal to me that my application was accepted. After a very successful fundraiser within my unbelievably generous community, I was SO excited and couldn’t wait to get on the phone with Dynaccess and tell them that I could complete the order to obtain this piece of equipment that changed my life.
My FIRST week on the snow with my new machine was going to be in Breckenridge CO, this is where I got to personally meet Kelly, Greg, and Zeke. Instantly I felt as though I was welcomed into a family, and talking to other grant recipients, this is how we all feel. I got to know the KBF more and more by going to mono ski clinics throughout the season. One day, Greg and Whitney gave me a call while I was at work, (truthfully not having a great day). They wanted to tell me about this Ambassador program which entailed traveling to more events, blogging about them, getting video footage of the sports I like to do and becoming more involved in the spinal cord injury community, such as mentoring. I don’t think I could’ve gotten the words “yes” out of my mouth fast enough. It was everything I have been trying to figure out how to do and more. As of right now I Have reached out to a couple physical therapist and I have a great lead on a Mentoring program that could help a lot of people with spinal cord injuries. I have also been putting together a fun lesson on ADA requirements for a high school law and government class. This is just the beginning.