From: Johnstown, PA
Hobbies: Snow Skiing, Water Skiing, Boating, Bike Riding, Hiking, Dirt Bikes, Cars, Wrenching on anything with a motor
Level of Injury: T6
Year of Injury: 2016
Cause of Injury: Snow Skiing
KBF Grant Equipment: Sport on XCR handcycle
Tell us a fun fact about yourself!
I’m a very adventurous person who loves to travel, be outdoors and fix/build things.
What does living an active lifestyle mean to you?
An active lifestyle is what help keeps your body in check. Especially now living in a wheelchair, being active is very important. Besides, nothing beats being outside and enjoying a nice day instead of watching TV.
What is something people don’t know about living in a wheelchair?
That a disability does not mean an inability!! And don’t ever make assumptions about somebody because you don’t have the slightest clue what they’ve been through.
Why did you want a handcycle?
It’s not only a great form of exercise, but I get to be outside while I’m doing it. Being inside a smelly gym gets old. I love nature and spending time in the woods.
What has the KBF grant meant to you?
It’s meant the world to me. Not only were we able to get the bike faster than expected, but it’s joyous to know people like KBF exist to help individuals get back to what they love. My sister and I hope to someday start a non-profit of our own to help individuals live the best life possible.
What is the best piece of advice you have gotten?
Put the work in now and reap the benefits later.
Any tips/tricks for someone who is new to a wheelchair/adaptive sports?
If at all possible, get the lightest/strongest wheelchair you can get. Lugging an unnecessarily heavy chair around will not only become a nuisance, but can cause unneeded stress on one’s body. Simplicity is what will make your life easier.
Any final thoughts?
For anybody who recently suffered a spinal cord injury or has had one for years, you’re still the same person you were before your accident. There is not a single thing you cannot do and not a single person who can tell you no. Anybody who tries to tear you down is only trying to make themselves feel better. People’s opinions should be fuel to your fire to really prove them wrong. Getting back up after a spinal cord injury is a haul in itself, but working your butt off to make a change in this world is beyond commendable. Be the change.