SCI Superstar: Aaron Fotheringham

“Just when you thought sitting was safe” is Aaron Fotheringham’s awesome tagline. Touring with the Nitro Circus (an extreme sports tour), speaking and doing demos at events and at school, such is the life of your-not-so-average 20 year old from Las Vegas, the very brave soul behind the world’s first wheelchair back flip.

Aaron was born with Spina Bifida, but could never just sit. Wasn’t his thing. After being adopted into a close-knit family as a baby (they adopted 7 kids in total), they’re the reason he’s the extreme adapted athlete he is today.

One of his brothers was into skating, and Aaron would always come along and watch…

After watching everyone have all the fun, at 8 years old Aaron decided it was time to stop watching and he gave a quarter-pipe a taste of his wheels. Sure he fell, but the rest is history. Read this entry

Getting hitched (on wheels)

Wheelchair-users get married everyday (despite most able-bodied people being shocked).

No, we are not damaged goods; we are some of the most precious cargo around. What’s important is the love that’s shared between two people, not the car you drive.

These two wheelchair wedding videos – one giving advice on planning a wedding if you use a wheelchair, the other showing the coolest first dance I’ve ever seen a wheelchair-user do – prove just how awesome our weddings can still be.

And what I love about these videos is that they’re not about a bride or groom walking down the aisle, the media‘s favorite subject of late (we get it already; people feel cooler when they walk!).

The second video is titled, “A Perfect Wedding Dance – Bride in a Wheelchair” (courtesy of “Shake It” by Metromix) and it shows the coolest first dance I never seen a wheelchair-user do.

The bride Angie is a paraplegic and she hired a choreography company (that specializes in first dances) to create the first dance for herself and able-bodied groom.

From start to finish, the routine is flawless.  It’s an up-tempo song (hip-hop) and she even throws a cute kick in there at the end. You gotta watch it. Read this entry

SCI Superstar: Daryl “Chill” Mitchell

Maybe you recognize him from NBC’s Ed or maybe you remember him from when he could walk when he was in Veronica’s Closet.  Or maybe it was that show Brothers on Fox a few years back.

That’s what’s so incredibly blog-worthy (times infinity) about Daryl “Chill” Mitchell is that he’s had this amazingly long acting career, millions recognize him, but he’s managed to do all this despite becoming a wheelchair-user midway through his career.

This was not something he had planned for (obviously). Daryl was a tall drink of water before his motorcycle accident.  Being naturally funny, he was cast in dozens of TV shows and movies in the 1990′s, including The Cosby Show, Law and Order, The John Larroquette Show, 10 Things I Hate About You, Galaxy Quest and Home Fries.  

His career was on fire right before his motorcycle happened in 2001. While riding his bike, he hit loose gravel and wiped out, becoming a paraplegic. But Daryl couldn’t sit still, and he didn’t. Read this entry

Two video-fied extremes of ‘adaptive’ yoga

“Wheelchair yoga?” Nah, I’ll take the term “adaptive yoga” any day.

Getting out of your wheelchair and onto the mat is one of the best things about an adaptive yoga class. An “out of the wheelchair” yoga class is more like it.

The following two videos – one of a crazily agile paraplegic, the other a high level quadriplegic who needs assistance when practicing – show how no matter your level of spinal cord injury, you can still get out of the chair and do yoga.

The first video comes from our member Wheelz04.  He is a T6-8 paraplegic and is totally into yoga. Since he has full upper-body movement (times a million), he’s able to transfer himself onto the mat and put himself into dozens of poses (he’s so strong he can even walk on his hands!). In fact, there’s a chance he might be the strongest person in a wheelchair I’ve seen.

SCI Superstar: Teal Sherer

Teal Sherer (yup like the color), whose an actress and paraplegic, has come a long way from the log house she grew up in in rural Tennessee. After breaking her back while riding in a car to Labor Day fireworks show when she was just 14, she found a new passion post-injury – acting – hasn’t looked back since.

After college, Teal decided to make the big move out to LA to pursue her dreams of acting. Her first break came in 2004, when she was cast in HBO’s Warm Springs (a film about the life of FDR starring Kenneth Branagh. She played a young woman with Polio. Loved this movie).

She’s also been in several national commercials, including one for Liberty Mutual insurance and another that I remember from awhile ago to get people to get out and vote.

And the past couple of years, she’s developed a huge online following for the character ‘Venom’ she plays (a member of the “Axis of Anarchy”) in the web series hit, The Guild. She is mean and wears a lot of black eyeliner. Watch out. Read this entry

Wheelchair fashion tips: In your face, and a ladylike runway show

If Bjork can be deemed fashionable, if we can make kitchen appliances fashionable, why can’t we be rolling thrones of haute couture too? Srsly…

If you watch the above video by Tiffany Giddes, a T10 paraplegic and member of The Ability 411 crew (a collaboration of five paralyzed vloggers who answer questions about life with paralysis), she shares all the best fashion tips she’s discovered since her injury. They are awesome.

Tiffany is one tough chick so you know her fashion tips will be good. Her ability to be turn a project into a reality is crazy. Take her new movie Collision about a female wheelchair assassin—she stars in it and helped produced it! It’s inspiring to anyone with a disability who thinks a project they’re getting intro might be too much to take on. Read this entry

SCI Superstar of the Week: Mark Zupan

The original tattooed hardcore wheelchair athlete, Mark Zupan is the King of “Muderball,” aka quad rugby, the crazy wheelchair flipping sport (you only wish you were as cool as this Austin, Texas dude).

He has the sexiest tattoos ever, more confidence than any guy should legally have….what’s not to love about this guy? Love him! Read this entry

Crafty fixes make melodious sounds

Saying goodbye to my love of music was one of the stupidest things I’ve ever done after my injury. Maybe in my wildest dreams, jerry-rigging a clarinet (to work for my quad hands) would have worked, but not all instruments are impossible to adapt.

Watch Robb Madison, a paraplegic drummer use 3 sticks to mimic the bass  drum, and watch a famous quadriplegic blues singer from the UK show how he can still play the steel guitar (via his  lap). Gag they’re so smart! Read this entry