"My wheelchair will only take me so far, but that's not as far as I can go!" At age 12, Christina Chambers became a paraplegic when her immune system attacked her spinal cord. A manual wheelchair became part of her identity, and she has used it to touch the lives of hundreds of adaptive athletes across the county.
In this episode of "A Leg Up On Life," you'll recognize the incredible spirit that has pushed Christina to accomplish feats that most of us wouldn't even consider.
John Furniss, also known as the Blind Woodsman, is a blind woodworker. His wife, Anni, is a painter. The two artists form a partnership that is the stuff movies are made of. John lost his sight when he was 16. After many struggles, he took on the challenge of living life as a blind man. He learned to work on pianos, learned to turn wood to create beautiful pieces of art, and he met the love of his life, Anni. This episode of A Leg Up On Life is the remarkable story of finding one's purpose after tragedy.
On an icy and snowy February night, Elisa Hays got hit by a semi-truck as she and her coworkers attempted to run for safety after their pickup and trailer slid on black ice. In this episode of "A Leg Up On Life," Elisa shares her compelling story of resilience in the face of a horrific accident and how it drove her to become an expert at leadership.
Leave your disability at the dock, is the motto of Footloose Sailing Association. In this interview, you will meet Bob Ewing, one of the founders of the sailing club specifically for individuals with disabilities. Bob is a quadriplegic and has dedicated his time and efforts to help others find the freedom and enjoy the sport as much as he does.
In this episode of A Leg Up On Life, Roni Sasaki chats with Prateek Dujari, an engineer from Intel and avid outdoorsman who lost his sight in a climbing incident. Prateek found healing and purpose in doing the sports he loves, such as hiking, snowboarding, running, and biking. He is currently training for a bike expedition in the Himalayas.
Shaun Williams is blind. He lost his vision gradually from retinitis pigmentosa (RP). In this episode, Shaun openly talks about what it's like to be blind. Shaun lives life to the fullest. First and foremost, he is a husband and father to two sons. Shaun is also a counselor for other disabled individuals, helping them to cope and adapt so that they may experience more independence. He enjoys Dragon Boat Racing, music, and spending time outdoors with his family.
Ron Heagy dove into a wave on the day before his 18th birthday and broke his neck. Since then, he has been a quadriplegic, unable to feel anything from the chest down. Ron chooses to focus on what he can do instead of what he cannot do. By changing his perspective, Ron earned his Master's Degree, became a speaker, published his book, created beautiful oil paintings with his mouth, founded a special needs camp, and fathered a daughter. For over 25 years, he has captivated audiences by inspiring them to overcome any obstacle. His story is a must hear!
Dave Carl is a motivational speaker, author, blogger, and social worker. He was born with spina bifida, a condition where the spinal cord is not fully developed. Because of this, Dave is paralyzed from the waist down and has been in a wheel chair his entire life. He wrote the children's book, Super Cyclist. He has a bachelor's degree in Social Work and gives back to his community in huge ways. Dave is a certified ADA (American with Disabilities Act) Coordinator and he uses his knowledge to teach independent living classes to other physically and developmentally disabled adults.
Shandy Welch was a clinical nurse practitioner in orthopedic medicine when she discovered that she had breast cancer. As part of her treatment, Shandy experienced a double mastectomy. She chose to see her cancer as a new experience that she could learn from and embrace. Now she inspires others to do the same and view life through fresh eyes. Shandy's story is positive and uplifting.
Jim Lagerstrom is a five-time Paralympian, winning numerous medals during a ski racing career that spanned 20 years. Jim lost his leg below the knee when he was five years old. Lagerstrom now works at a prosthetic company, designing and creating artificial limbs so that others can live active lives. He uses the ingenuity that he applied to develop his own legs to enhance the lives of others.