banner

The New Stuff

Ralph's Riders
716 Views

Love Really Does Conquer All: How Ralph and Mayra Fornos Turned Tragedy into Triumph


Editor’s Note:  Emigrating from Cuba to Southern California, the Fornos & Reyes families spent many a weekend together at the Cuban community center in Culver City. After high school, Ralph Fornos and Mayra Reyes, who had become close friends during childhood, fell out of touch until they crossed paths again at a party during their college years. Upon reconnecting, their platonic friendship quickly grew into a beautiful romance and a picture-perfect life together. At the time of their marriage, the future seemed bright; Ralph was working for an airline and finishing his political science degree, and Mayra had a promising career in fashion while also cheering for the Los Angeles Rams and working toward a degree in business administration and marketing. But after only a few months as a married couple, a surfing accident abruptly shoved them off the paths of their seemingly flawless lives. Wheel:Life writer Betsy Bailey spoke with Mayra Fornos about Ralph’s injury, how they turned tragedy into triumph, and the foundation she created to carry on Ralph’s work with fellow spinal cord injury survivors.

A Fairy Tale Turned Nightmare

One day, I went to class and had a premonition while taking a calculus final. When I got home that evening, the house was completely dark which was unusual because Ralph would always leave a light on forMayra & Ralph me if he went out. When I realized he wasn’t there, I started worrying. I called my parents, my brothers, and his parents, but no one was answering. Keep in mind, there were no cell phones at the time. In my mind, I thought he had died.

About an hour later, a car pulled up and my whole family got out. They told me Ralph wasn’t dead but that we needed to get to the hospital right away because he had suffered a spinal cord injury while surfing.

When I got to the hospital, I learned that Ralph had suffered a spinal cord injury while surfing.

The doctor told me that what happened to him was worse than dying.

Ralph didn’t realize the gravity of his situation until the doctor told him the same thing he had told me. And so the journey began.

It was the late ‘70s, and we weren’t aware of any support groups for SCI survivors. This was before the American with Disabilities Act and before anything was accessible. People in wheelchairs typically stayed indoors. It was very difficult and lonely, but we had good friends, and Ralph had an amazing spirit.

The Words of an Angel

When Ralph was recovering in the hospital, a guy in a wheelchair came and knocked on the door one day. It was a young stud named Greg Thompson. He was a marathon runner in a wheelchair back in the days when it was unheard of. He talked to us both for a bit and then asked for privacy to talk to Ralph alone. I remember going out into the shiny, white hospital hallway and waiting for a very long time. When I came back into the room, Ralph had the biggest smile on his face.

As Greg was wheeling out of the room and down the long, shiny, white hallway to the elevators, I thought to myself, “I just saw an angel.”

Mayra & RalphRalph and I went through a very heavy depression after that. He would say, “You’ve gotta leave me, Mayra. You deserve better. I don’t want to hold up your life.” I was getting commercials and doing fashion shows, and he didn’t want to hold me back. At night, I would evaluate things and ask myself if I’d be happier with him or without him. The scales would tip unquestionably in our favor. He was my life, my partner, my best friend, and my husband.

Eventually, Ralph came out of his depression, and I believe what Greg Thompson said to him that day in the hospital helped him immensely. He held that moment with him and kept going back to his words during dark times.

Moving Forward

We struggled to find our way, but things started to turn around for us. Ralph finished his political science degree at the University of Southern California despite being in a wheelchair, which was an amazing accomplishment for that time. His dream had always been to become a lawyer, but he had lost confidence after his injury; he didn’t think he could do it in a wheelchair. Slowly, I talked him into going to law school.

The University of Southern California was too inaccessible. Then, he heard about a small school called the University of West Los Angeles School of Law. The president of the school was a retired appellate judge named Justice Bernard Jefferson. He was a Harvard Law School graduate and wrote the California Evidence Benchbook which is still in use today. When Ralph met with him, he decided he wanted to be part of making law school accessible to everyone. He even made arrangements for Ralph to have a part-time schedule so it would be doable for him.

Somewhere down the line, Ralph convinced me to come and sit in one of his classes.

He encouraged me to become a lawyer with him so we could change the world for the disabled together.

I didn’t think I was disciplined enough, but after attending some classes, I fell in love with the fact that one person can have a lot of impact on the world. We ended up graduating and passing the bar at the same time.

Fornos Law Firm 

Mayra holding awardWe opened a small law office together, and before we knew it, we had people coming from all over the state. Even before the internet, people had heard about “the gimp lawyer and his caregiver wife, who happens to be a lawyer, too.” Ralph would laugh about that because he had a great sense of humor. We were so inexperienced at the time that we would tell people we couldn’t help them with the massive cases, but they didn’t care. They trusted us and felt comfortable with us. So, we started bringing in the top trial lawyers in the state to help us with the cases. We learned so much from them.

Editor’s Note:  Fornos Law Firm customizes the best legal team for each specific case. The firm has been selected for the inclusion in “US News & World Report Best Law Firms” in the areas of personal injury and other catastrophic injuries. For several years, Mayra has been listed in “Best Lawyers in America” and has been recognized as one of Southern California’s “Super Lawyers” as well as one of the Top 50 Women Attorneys in Southern California by Los Angeles Magazine as published in February 2018. In addition, Mayra has been listed in Los Angeles Magazine as one of “Los Angeles Women Leaders In The Law.” Mayra has been involved with the SCI community for over twenty-seven years.

Losing My Everything

After practicing law together for 13 years, Ralph passed away in 2002 due to an illness unrelated to his spinal cord injury.

He was my everything, and after he died, I went through a very deep depression.

It took me a long time to function again. I wasn’t taking any cases, and I couldn’t concentrate or think straight. Eventually, I had to get back to work because I had gone into debt. Slowly, the practice started growing again.

Mayra

Ralph’s Riders Foundation

Ralph had been an active peer mentor. Sometimes, people would call in the middle of the night, and he would talk to them for hours giving them advice and hope. He’d tell them how he went to law school, and how they could pursue their goals, too. I felt strongly about staying involved in the disability community and continuing what Ralph was doing with peer mentoring. I wanted to carry that on in his memory.

I reached out to a couple of Ralph’s friends who are also in wheelchairs, and we held a meeting to talk about launching a foundation. We decided on the name Ralph’s Riders and started holding regular meetings and fundraisers. Once we were able to raise some money, we began providing small grants for people who needed financial help with things like home ramps or vehicle hand controls. We also put in place a peer mentoring program.

Ralph's Riders logo

It has now been 10 years since we first held that meeting and launched the Ralph’s Riders Foundation. We have been able to provide many people who have suffered SCIs, TBIs, or other catastrophic injuries, with grants, peer support, and various resources.

While he was an attorney, Ralph also helped change laws for the disabled. He formed a committee called the Disability Advisory Committee in Culver City with another disabled individual named John Troost, who is now an LA County Commissioner. The committee would go to the city council and discuss what was needed in the community such as an accessible library or curb cuts.

The city began listening to them even before the ADA was enacted.

When Ralph passed away, I was asked to step into his spot to finish his term. I’m still part of the committee today. Culver City is now partners with Ralph’s Riders and provides us with a place to hold our board meetings. Culver City is one of the most progressive cities in opening access and breaking down barriers. They’ve been amazing and very supportive.

Editor’s Note:  The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and Los Angeles County Commission on Disability selected the Ralph’s Riders Foundation and Fornos Law Firm for the prestigious “Chairperson’s Award by the Los Angeles County Commission on Disabilities” for all their work in the community. The Ralph Rider’s Foundation also received the Ed Roberts Independent Living Award by the Dayle McIntosh Center in 2010.

Providing Resources and Legal Advice

Recently, Ralph’s Riders launched educational and resource days where we hold an orientation for people to learn about what’s available to them and what they can do if they’ve experienced catastrophic injury or illness. We want to build awareness and inform people who have suffered an SCI, TBI, or other catastrophic injury or illness due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing what their legal rights are and that there is a time limit to take action on their case. We have teamed up with AbleThrive who, along with our Riders, presents the resource aspect and talks about topics such as how to adapt after being injured and finding a peer mentor. I teach the law portion to help people understand their legal rights.

Many people don’t take legal action because they’re afraid of the costs, but what they don’t know is that they don’t have to pay for an attorney.

Ralph's Riders resource days

Winning a lawsuit won’t heal someone, but it can make their life easier. It could allow them to buy an accessible home, pay for medical costs, or purchase a van, for example. In addition to assuring that our clients get their medical and out-of-pocket expenses covered in order to live more independent and productive lives after an injury, we also push to change business policies and procedures to ensure compliance with ADA laws.

Our first two educational and resource days were held at Rancho Los Amigos Hospital. We’re hoping to expand to other areas and facilities as well.

Get Involved with Ralph’s Riders

Some ways people can get involved with Ralph’s Riders is to donate, become a sponsor, or sign up as a peer mentor. We also welcome opportunities to work with other nonprofits. These types of partnerships not only help Ralph’s Riders grow, but they also benefit the other parties as well by bringing awareness to each of our missions and providing support at each other’s events and networking opportunities. Our Ralph’s Riders Alliance consists of an awesome group of businesses and nonprofits that are doing great things to impact this disability community.

Together, we can build and create an empowering community.

RR Board Meeting

Editor’s Note:  For more information on Ralph’s Riders, visit their website at RalphsRiders.org and follow them on Facebook @ralphsridersfoundation.

If you’ve suffered a catastrophic injury or illness in the state of California and are seeking legal advice, visit FornosLaw.com.

All information contained in this article was extracted from an interview with Mayra Fornos, the Ralph’s Riders website, or provided by Margarita Elizondo, Director of Media Strategy & Community Outreach at Fornos Law.

About the Author
betsy-bailey-headshot

Betsy Bailey has a diverse background including experience in marketing research at American Express, business operations and client relations with 601am, travel and culinary writing with VegDining, and playing volleyball professionally overseas.

Betsy has been writing for Wheel:Life since January of 2017 and thoroughly enjoys the process of getting to know her interviewees. She also teaches students learning English as a second language, speaks French fluently, and travels any chance she gets!

Recently Published

A young woman with blue hair (Juana) in a power wheelchair on a public bus
»

VR Experience Gives Able-Bodied a Glance into Life as a Wheelchair User

While the average standing height of adults varies, fully grown ...

Carlos and Ray in their wheelchairs
»

Ralph’s Riders Members Talk About Peer Mentoring and Building Alliances for a Stronger Community

Editor’s Note:  Ralph’s Riders was launched over 10 years ago by ...

Margarita Elizondo presenting in front of elementary school class
»

Comfort Conversations: The Importance of Positive Playtime & Learning Experiences for Kids of All Abilities

Societal attitudes and behaviors have a significant impact on the ...

Paul Basagoitia sitting on a rock with mountains in background
»

New Red Bull Film Documents Pro Athlete’s Recovery from SCI

When we think about Red Bull Media House’s film catalog, images ...

Man in sport wheelchair on outdoor basketball court
»

5 Ways to Grow Your Circle of Friends Who Roll

Friends who have rolled a mile in your shoes are precious indeed. ...

Actor Ray Proscia, Donna Russo, and Peggy Lane
»

Donna On The Go: Creating Awareness through Humor

Editor’s Note:  Both Donna Russo and Peggy Lane have been involved ...

Colorful background with text reading, "The Global Collaborative Community for and by People with Disabilities, Sharing Experiences and Knowledge, So No One Feels Alone. Yoocanfind.com"
»

Yoocan Storytellers Discuss Interabled Relationships and Adaptive Sports

Wheel:Life has mentioned how incredible Yoocan is a few times now, so ...

Easterseals Disability Film Challenge logo with film festival feathers against a city skyline backdrop and orange and blue sky.
»

Calling Filmmakers, Writers, and Actors: Join the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge!

Having started his career at an early age, actor and comedian Nic ...

Hydred Makabali in art studio
»

Comfort Conversations: How Hydred Makabali Stays Balanced and Healthy

Editor’s Note:  In 2017, we featured a story about living life to ...

Ralph's Riders
»

Love Really Does Conquer All: How Ralph and Mayra Fornos Turned Tragedy into Triumph

Editor’s Note:  Emigrating from Cuba to Southern California, the ...

Senator Duckworth on Capitol Hill
»

Tammy Duckworth, Disabled Veteran and Senator, Talks about Injury, Advocacy, and Motherhood

Editor’s Note:  During deployment in 2004 as a Black Hawk ...

Ali McManus with guitar
»

Singer-Songwriter Ali McManus Has OI, But She’s Far From Breakable

Editor’s Note:  Ali McManus spent the beginning of her life ...

Photo Credit:  Merrick Ales
»

SXSW: Transforming Society’s Image of Disability

What started as a small music festival of 700 attendees in 1987 has ...

Sam on airplane wing
»

Rollettes Star Samantha Lopez Shares Her Backstory

In this Wheel:Life interview, Sam Lopez of the Rollettes discusses ...

mayra-fornos-accepting-award
»

Comfort Conversations: Ralph’s Riders Launches Ride On In Life Campaign

For many people, the month of January represents a new beginning, an ...

adaptive ice climber
»

Five February Events Celebrating the Disability Community

February is a short month, but that doesn’t mean there’s no time ...

Female diver on deck
»

Take a Plunge into the Underwater World with Dive Pirates

Editor’s Note: Have you ever dreamt of plunging off the edge of a ...

collage-of-yoocan-storytellers
»

Yoocan: Where People with Disabilities from All Over the World Connect

Back in 2017, Wheel:Life featured a story on Yoocan and Alto. For ...

Ross Family Photo Christmas
»

Finding Happily Ever After with Annette Ross

Editor’s Note:  Annette Ross was living the fairy-tale life. She ...

NorCal SCI Emeryville group photo
»

NorCal SCI: Helping People Navigate Through Post-Injury Challenges

Editor’s Note:  When Franklin Elieh and Nick Struthers, both ...

Remember 2018 Collage
»

Remembering 2018: Lessons to Carry into 2019

As each year comes to a close, we like to look back and reflect on ...

Hales family photo
»

Pushing Pedals for Fun and Therapy – Kessley Hales and Her Freedom Concepts Bike

Editor’s Note: When Kristi Hales noticed her unborn baby wasn’t ...

sit-ski
»

5 Adaptive Events You Should Try This Year

2019 is here! What’s on your list of resolutions for the new year? ...

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES
»

3 Accessible New Year’s Destinations You Still Have Time to Book

Are your New Year’s plans still up in the air? How about taking a ...

group photo in park
»

Comfort Conversations: How Does Giving Help Defeat the Holiday Blues?

Feelings of sadness are different for everyone as is each ...

Hand cycler on trail
»

Visit these Bucket-List Accessible Travel Destinations in 2019

This New Year, resolve to explore your world with these U.S.-based ...

alette2
»

You Are Enough, Disability and All

No one can deny that living with a disability renders daily living ...

Bennie Jose Perez
»

Amputee Veteran Bennie Jose Perez Didn’t Let Shattered Dreams Stop Him From Finding a New Passion

Editor’s Note:  Bennie Jose Perez had dreamt of joining the Marine ...

adaptive winter sports
»

Don’t Miss These 5 Adaptive Events This December

December is here, and while we love to use holiday parties as an ...

DPI-Fitness-Member-Group
»

How Adaptive Fitness is Helping Joanna Bonilla Fight for Recovery

Editor’s Note:  Fitness enthusiast Joanna Bonilla hadn’t been ...

Tufano-hand-cycle-Chicago-skyscrapers
»

One Adaptive Athlete’s Story on How Perseverance Saved His Life

Editor’s Note:  From dancing to triathlons, 31-year-old Vincenzo ...

wheely-good-fitness2
»

Clay Garner’s Fight to Beat Transverse Myelitis

Editor’s Note:  Clay Garner, a successful entrepreneur and ...

Sit Skiing is a fantastic winter past-time that lets you enjoy the great outdoors!
»

5 Adaptive and Advocacy Events You Shouldn’t Miss This November

This November boasts many reasons and ways to get active. By ...

gaelynn-lea-playing-violin
»

Gaelynn Lea is Changing the Music World in More Ways Than One

Editor’s Note:  When an orchestra performed at her school, ...

Close up of big watch on the wrist of the disabled man
»

Comfort Conversations: Top 10 Instances of Discrimination Against People With Disabilities

People with disabilities make up the nation’s largest minority ...

stanley-dog
»

Meet Stanley + More Great Resources for Kids Who Cath

When you watch Stanley, a 15-month-old Bernedoodle, work with kids, ...

1779990_10204610971826169_7267754689924180941_n
»

SAS: Campaigning for the Support of Adaptive Sports

Editor’s Note: Connie Cardenas grew up running, and even into early ...

daughter and senior man in wheelchair on walking green nature.
»

101 Mobility Chicago: Helping People Stay in Their Homes

Editor’s Note:  When a dear friend was diagnosed with Amyotrophic ...

A close up of the handbike athlete on the special bicycle asphalt track in Krylatskie Hills. Evening sunset above the road.
»

It’s Disability Awareness Month! Here’s What’s Happening Near You This October

In late summer of 1945, as World War II was coming to an end, ...

Oubounder 6x6 at lake
»

Go Off the Beaten Path with the Outbounder 6×6

Editor’s Note: After falling from a tree while hunting, Geoff ...

Photo by: Natalie Koziuk Photography (www.nkoziukphotography.com)
»

Celebrate World Ostomy Day by Running, Walking, or Rolling for Resilience

Disability Awareness month is coming up and with so many great events ...

zully-in-garden
»

Causes for Change: Making a Difference at Home and Abroad

Editor’s Note:  As an infant, Zully JF Alvarado contracted polio, ...

chris-teaching-course
»

Chris Lenart on Life With Cerebral Palsy and DisabilityAwareness.us

Editor’s Note:  After a difficult childbirth in which both baby ...

Ms. Wheelchair America 2019
»

Ms. Wheelchair America: Empowering Women, Shaping Leaders

Editor’s Note:  Over three decades ago, Michigander Shelly Loose ...

usi9cnoqne22mvlnwxta_illpushyou-js-pg-trail-wide-color
»

The Story of Two Guys, a Wheelchair, and El Camino

What was simply meant to be two best friends hiking El Camino de ...

Edna
»

Edna Serrano is a Roll Model for Strong Latina Women

Below, Edna Serrano of the Rollettes shares her story of growing up ...

amplitude-meg2
»

Pauline Victoria Shares Why She’s Creating a Media Outlet for the Disability Community

Editor’s Note:  While Pauline Victoria’s parents were preparing ...

basketball-102377_960_720
»

Adaptive Events Happening This August

We have to face the facts…another summer is nearing its end. ...

new-banner-kirk-and-tatiana
»

Two SpeediCath Users Tell Wheel:Life Their Stories

When Wheel:Life learned that two Coloplast SpeediCath users would be ...

Young asian women pushing the elderly woman on wheelchair in garden,helping and support concept.
»

Air Travel as a Wheelchair User: What Should You Expect?  

After my injury twelve years ago, there were many things I had always ...

jacobyzebinski_dcp12presentation_globaltv_054
»

Freedom Concepts: Helping Kids Be Kids

Editor’s Note:  After complications at birth, Jacoby Zebinski was ...

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES
»

Travel for All: Making Adventure a Reality for Joanne and Bill Hogan

  Editor’s Note: As the son of a military man and the daughter ...

chanda-5
»

The Chanda Plan Foundation:  Changing Lives Through Access to Integrative Therapy

Editor’s Note: When conventional medicine was failing quadriplegic ...

life-rolls-on-3
»

Founder of Life Rolls On Jesse Billauer Wants to Help You Catch a Wave

Editor’s Note:  Growing up in southern California, Jesse ...

tecla_bts_productshots-26
»

Tecla: Fostering Independence Through Access to Technology

Editor’s Note:  While studying biomedical engineering in his home ...

cure-hydrophilic-kit-1
»

New! A Pocket-Sized Cure Hydrophilic Kit Made for You

A new pocket-sized kit from Cure Medical is now available for people ...

adaptive-joel-4-cover
»

Super Leg Joel Ellen on Faith and Fitness After Limb Loss

Editor’s Note:  When athlete and fitness fanatic Joel Ellen ...

cheerful boy with disability at rehabilitation center for kids with special needs
»

From Frustration to Innovation:  How Universal Vests is Changing Industry Standards

While studying physical therapy, the founders of Universal Vests ...

anyone-can-dance-1
»

Comfort Conversations: Anyone Can Dance

Join us every other month for Comfort Conversations, a discussion ...

jerzee-wasylnuk-asr2011-odyssey-tripwire-shoot-june-25-2017-021
»

The Benefits of Your Child Getting Active with Adaptive Bike Riding

Parents of children living with disabilities:  Take a minute to ...

feeling freedom for disabled people
»

Our Top 5 Accessible Summer Vacation Destinations

It’s time to talk about summer vacation plans. If you like to have ...

the-life-of-a-service-dog10
»

A New Book Teaches Kids About the Life of a Service Dog

Editor’s Note:  As a single mom of a 7-year-old, Amy Sherwood was ...

abilities-expo-la-show
»

Win a Trip to the Boston Abilities Expo

Have you always wanted to attend an Abilities Expo but you don’t ...

dsc_1879
»

Wheel:Life and Comfort Medical Sponsor the Paradox Sports Adaptive Ice Climbing Trip

  Editor’s Note:  A little over a decade ago, a group of guys ...

cure-medical-kids-self-cath-cover-b
»

Norah Self-Caths in Kindergarten, Thanks to this Free Resource

It’s a given that kids who cath want to be like their friends at ...

Senior man in wheelchair outside in nature
»

The Healing Powers of Grounding Therapy for Wheelchair Users

Editor’s Note:  Having grown up on a farm in rural Montana, Clint ...

disabled-travel-special-needs
»

Cruising the Planet with Amputee Debra Kerper

Editor’s Note: When a bone infection complicated by lupus took ...

Being prepared for college is one thing, being prepared for college dating is another!
»

The Online Dating Experience for the Disabled

Dating is hard. Dating is really hard. If you have a disability, ...

briellas-bike-4
»

Inclusion, Adventure, and Therapy with Freedom Concepts

Editor’s Note: In 2014, Michigan residents Caroline Booth and Matt ...

wheelchair-client-machu-pichu
»

Where Do You Want to Go?

Have you always dreamt of seeing the Aurora Borealis in Alaska? Or ...

img_360910
»

TerrainHopper USA: Bringing Adventure and Freedom to People with Disabilities

Editor’s Note:  Born with osteogenesis imperfecta, Todd Lemay ...

paul-amadeus-lane8
»

Breaking Down Broadcasting Barriers with Paul Amadeus Lane

Editor’s Note: Growing up in Long Beach, California, Paul Amadeus ...

zebreda1
»

Zebreda Dunham Powers Through Challenges on the Pitch and in Life

Editor’s Note:  Born with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita, ...

img_0223
»

Adaptive Aerial Yoga Allows Wheelchair Users to Fly

  Editor’s Note: Texas native Sara Schaffer has been ...

take-a-look-at-this-heart-cover
»

Sex, Love, and Disability:  Ben Duffy’s New Documentary Exposes It All

Filmmaker Ben Duffy and Ajani “AJ” Murray met while working on a ...

Hospice nurse giving medicine to senior man in wheelchair
»

Why Nurses Care About DEHP in Catheters, and You Should Too

Have you noticed a growing awareness to be conscious about eating ...

img_0438
»

Amputee Bob Clausen Says If You Want Something Bad Enough, You Will Do It

Editor’s Note:  Widower and Navy veteran Rober “Bob” ...

img_3960
»

The Ms. Wheelchair California Pageant: A Life-Changing Experience

As the Ms. Wheelchair California Leadership Institute, formerly known ...

key-support-systems-1
»

Comfort Conversations: Support Systems Are Key After a Life-Altering Tragedy

Having key support systems after a life-altering injury is crucial. ...

sheri-melander-smith-6
»

Sheri Melander-Smith on Living Your Best Life

Editor’s Note:  Sheri Melander-Smith was born with a vascular ...

wheelchair-boarding
»

5 Extreme Activities to Add to Your Bucket List

Have you already tried all of the typical adaptive sports available ...

best-of-2017-cover
»

Reflections and Lessons Learned in 2017

We hope your 2017 was as enlightening and empowering as ours was here ...

styledwel-ms-1
»

Living with MS: One Family’s Solution to Enjoying Life Events Again

Dave was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1999 and for the first ...

tips-to-help-teach-your-child-about-self-catheterization-1
»

4 Tips to Help Teach Your Child About Self-Catheterization

At a certain age, kids will be the first to tell you that they want ...

waving happy young adult woman on wheelchair in the city in winter at sunset
»

Winter Weather Preparedness Tips for Wheelchair Users

Are you dreading this winter season? Dealing with slushy, icy, snowy, ...

adaptive-climbing-10
»

Making Adaptive Climbing More Accessible with Arthur Torrey

Editor’s Note: When a tree-cutting accident in 2010 led to broken ...

woman on wheelchair entering the platform
»

Barbara Cramer – 75 Years of Defying Stereotypes

Editor’s Note:  An earlier version of this post may have left the ...

falmouth-road-race-2017
»

Serving the Spina Bifida Community with the SBAGNE

I serve as the executive director of the SBAGNE. One of my primary ...

spinal-cord-injury-720x400
»

Comfort Medical is Helping People to Achieve a Healthier and Happier Lifestyle

If you’re an avid Wheel:Life reader, you may remember that we ...

stephanie-woodward-9
»

Advocating for Disability Rights with Stephanie Woodward and CDR

Editor’s Note: During a summer internship at the Center for ...

handi-capable-fitness8
»

Building Strength and Confidence with Handi Capable Fitness

Editor’s Note: A botched hernia operation during infancy left James ...

adaptive-bike1
»

Comfort Medical Sponsors Freedom Concepts to Help You Win An Adaptive Bike

Have you always dreamt of gliding down the street with the wind in ...

abilities-expo-toronto-2
»

Experience It All At the Abilities Expo!

Days are becoming shorter, nights longer, and the holiday season is ...

me_northeast-passage
»

ParaSportsLive: Bringing Adaptive Sports Coverage to the World

Editor’s Note:  When wheelchair user Tony Jackson’s original ...

cure-medical-october
»

Introducing the New Cure Ultra Coude Intermittent Catheter for Men

Cure Medical has unveiled the new 16-inch Cure Ultra® Coude ...

each-by-name-1
»

Get Ready for Rolling With Me’s Each By Name Conference

Wheel:Life, Comfort Medical, and Rolling With Me is excited to ...

smooth-sailing-with-david-gaston9
»

Smooth Sailing with David Gaston

Editor’s Note:  A Texas coast native, David Gaston has been in and ...

Husband and handicapped wife taking stroll in park alley
»

Gain Traction This Fall with National Ramp

Summer is officially over and dreary winter weather is on its way. ...

wheelchair-dance-organization-21
»

Wheelchair Dancers Organization Says Everybody Can Dance!

When life-long dancer Beverly Weurding was diagnosed with limb-girdle ...

malaise-wheelchair-fitness4
»

Pursuing Health and Happiness with Malaise Wheelchair Fitness

Editor’s Note: Justin Malaise grew up in small-town Wisconsin as a ...

kim-brown-cover
»

Former Ms. Wheelchair Illinois Continues to be a Voice for the Community

Editor’s Note: Born with spina bifida, Kim Brown has been a ...

img_00261
»

Dare to Discover the World of Accessible Travel With Handiscover

Editor’s Note: Sebastien Archambeaud has always loved traveling, so ...

pediatric-hydrophilic-cure-catheter1
»

Made for Kids! The Pediatric Hydrophilic Cure Catheter + Free Backpack Program

Parents only want what’s best for their children and keeping them ...

jhudson-featured
»

Wheeling, Driving, Bowling, Preaching, Parenting…Johnny Hudson Does It All Hands-free!

Editor’s Note: Johnny Hudson was born in 1977 with unforeseen ...

Pat Dougherty explains FreeWheel to a new fan at a recent Abilities Expo.
»

The Abilities Expo is Coming To Boston!

Boston awaits with open arms. This September 8–10, head over to the ...

margarita-7
»

Comfort Conversations: Change Starts with You – Becoming an Advocate

Join us every other month for Comfort Conversations, a discussion ...

wheelchairtravel14
»

WheelchairTravel.org: Blazing the Trail Towards an Accessible World  

Editor’s Note: After sustaining severe burns during a car accident ...

ag-featured
»

The Artfully Gifted Foundation – Serving Entrepreneurs with Disabilities

Editor’s Note: The Artfully Gifted Foundation (a non-profit) was ...

jose-gonzalez-on-how-the-scrs-il-can-help-you-live-independently24
»

How the SCRS-IL Can Help You Live Independently

Editor’s Note: When triple degree holder Jose Gonzalez returned ...

peter-arballo-1
»

Peter Arballo Never Gave Up on Himself — Neither Should You

Editor’s Note: Peter Arballo was born in Southern California to ...

michael-johnson-racing-8
»

Full Speed Ahead with Endurance Racer Michael Johnson

Editor’s Note: Michael Johnson of Lansing, Michigan, started racing ...

monica-vickers9
»

The Extraordinary Life of Triple Amputee Monica Vickers

Editor’s Note: Monica Vickers was born in 1954 missing both legs ...

rick-hayden-rolls-on-capitol-hill-for-your-rights1
»

Rick Hayden Rolls on Capitol Hill for Your Rights

When Rick Hayden visited the US Capitol last week, he went with your ...

abilities-expo-chicago-2017
»

Gear Up for Abilities Expo Chicago

Calling all Midwesterners — Abilities Expo is coming to Chicago! As ...

angel-city-sports-12
»

Run, Jump, and Throw Stuff with Angel City Sports

Editor’s Note: Clayton Frech is the CEO and founder of Los ...

1coach-koz2
»

Sled Hockey with Coach Koz

Editor’s Note: Sled hockey (also known as sledge hockey) is almost ...

Summer Solutions with STYLEDWEL
»

Summer Solutions with STYLEDWEL

Editor’s Note: Mary Marshall, founder of STYLEDWEL, created ...

kristina-rhoades11
»

Following Your Inner Guidance with Kristina Rhoades and How National Ramp is Helping Her Do It

Editor’s Note: Kristina Rhoades is a mom, wife, speaker, writer, ...

men who use wheelchairs
»

Comfort Conversations: Finding Encouragement Through Peer Support Groups

Join us every other month for Comfort Conversations, a discussion ...

wheellife1
»

Allen Beauchamp on Life, Love and Hockey

My name is Allen Beauchamp, and I’m 43 years old. I live in a ...

altolife9
»

Yoocan Get Empowered!

Editor’s Note: Inspired by a family member with disabilities, Moshe ...

cure-medical-catheter
»

Introducing the Cure Ultra: Ready to Use Catheter for Men

Cure Medical has unveiled the new 16-inch Cure Ultra™ Intermittent ...

manual-wheelchair-skills-800
»

Refuel and Rejuvenate At Abilities Expo New York Metro

East coasters, or anyone within striking distance, gear up for ...

criptado7
»

Criptaedo: Breaking Boards and Barriers

Editor’s note: Paul Brailer, aka Criptaedo, was born with spina ...

stella5_small
»

Rolling Forward with Amputee Advocate Stella Sieber

I’m currently 63 years old and live in Durham, North Carolina. ...

mallory_black-and-white-quickie-photo-shoot_july-2016
»

Stroke by Stroke: Moving Forward with Mallory Weggemann

Editor’s Note: At 18 years old, Mallory Weggemann walked into the ...

Margarita Cover Photo
»

Comfort Conversations: Finding Your New Normal After a Spinal Cord injury

Join us every other month for Comfort Conversations, a discussion ...

wheelchair-daddy-1
»

Glenn Moscoso: Wheelchair Daddy

Editor’s note:  Glenn Moscoso is a husband and father living with ...

national-ramp-cover-photo
»

Avoiding Slippery Slopes with Garth Walker and National Ramp

Editor’s Note: After selling his prior business, Garth Walker went ...

national-sports-center-for-the-disabled4
»

The National Sports Center for the Disabled: Finding Self-Confidence through Personal Challenge

Editor’s Note: The National Sports Center for the Disabled, founded ...

susies-travels
»

Wheeling around the World with Susie Twydell

Editor’s Note: Based in England, Susie Twydell, an avid traveler ...

Wheelchair walk
»

Amplitude Media Group: Closing the Information Gap

Wheel:Life is thrilled to announce their newest community partner, ...

wow-2
»

Accessible Hiking, Camping and Fishing? WOW!  

Editor’s Note: Wilderness on Wheels (WOW) is a foundation and a ...

the-woody-foundation-6
»

Comfort Conversations: Events, Free Packs, and More with James “Woody” Beckham

Editor’s Note: The Woody Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit ...

S
»

Jenn Sexton Shares Her Secret for Independence: An Extra Long Cure Catheter

Jenn Sexton was five weeks pregnant when she and her husband, Thomas, ...

img_2236glen-schlotterbeck
»

Glen Schlotterbeck: Reinvent Yourself!

Editors note: As a graduate of the US Air Force Academy, Glen ...

The-Abilities-Expo-6
»

Educate, Energize, and Enlighten at Abilities Expo Los Angeles

The Abilities Expo is back in Los Angeles and gearing up to show you ...

14juan-sebastian
»

Juan Sebastian Betancourt: Changing the Way Businesses Serve People with Disabilities

Editor’s Note: Juan Betancourt is on a path to change the world for ...

yogya-borobudur_ai
»

AccessibleIndonesia: Making Travel Accessible in a Non-Accessible Country

Editor’s note: Kerstin Beise, a German physiotherapist, who also ...

hydred-cover
»

A Lesson on Living Life to the Fullest with Hydred Makabali

Editor’s note: Hydred Makabali, born and raised in England and now ...

Up/Down Team Champions (Top L to R) Shane Hayden, Harold Collins (Seated L to R) Gary Bowling, Kenneth Hill, and Don Law
»

Knocking Down The Pins of Life with Wheelchair Bowling Champion Kenneth Hill

Editor’s Note: Fifty-year-old Kenneth Hill from Plainfield, ...

10-2take-your-wings-and-fly-with-denise-horn
»

Take Your Wings and Fly with Denise Horn

Editor’s Note: Fifty-six-year-old Denise Horn of Janesville, ...

ashley-hudson
»

Ashley Hutson Wilson Beat a Small Chance of Survival to Live a Full Life

Editor’s Note: Thirty-one year old Ashley Hutson Wilson from Kyle, ...

wheely-guitars-mel-header
»

Jam with Mel Bergman: Creator of Wheely Guitars

Editor’s Note: Mel Bergman of Camarillo, California, is the ...

gary-boxing-friend
»

Gary “Tiger” Balletto: Champion Prize Fighter Who Rolls with the Punches

Editor’s Note: You can capture a ferocious wild tiger and put him ...

9 Robby Heisner
»

Meet Robby Heisner: Creative Entrepreneur on Wheels

Editor’s Note: Robby Heisner of Smyrna, Georgia ...

Joseph Logar1
»

The National Rifle Association’s Adaptive Shooting Program with Dr. Joseph Logar

Dr. Joseph Logar Editor’s Note: Dr. Joseph Logar has his doctorate ...

rollettes-2
»

The Rollettes Take On an E.P.I.C. Project to Empower Others

Editor’s Note: Chances are, you’ve seen these ladies ...

medicare-access-header
»

Speak Up Now to Save Your Wheelchair: Fight Medicare Cuts

Your window is narrowing to preserve access to mobility equipment – ...

engineered for adventure GRIT
»

Go Further Together with GRIT: Stories of Community Support

Our friends at GRIT, the makers of the revolutionary Freedom Chair, ...

military-gang
»

Paralyzed Veteran’s Mom Awarded Dream Trip by ElDorado Mobility

Editor’s Note: Serving our country as a military service member is ...

4Kenneth Perry
»

Wheelchair Karate: Attack the Attacker with Kenneth Perry

Editor’s Note: Kenneth Perry from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, ...

5 Tom Cannalonga
»

Ditch Your Chair to Sit-Ski the Slopes with Tom Cannalonga 

Editor’s Note: Fifty-two-year-old Tom Cannalonga lives in Edison, ...

wlbannerFBfall
»

Welcome to Wheel:Life

We are so glad you’re here! Wheel:Life is a global initiative ...

%d bloggers like this: