SCI Life: May 2014

Photo by Tiffany J. Photography

Photo by Tiffany J. Photography

Morphing Into the Media Man
Five years ago, Andrew Angulo of Santa Clarita Valley, Calif., was your average 35-year-old guy — married, two boys, with a decent job and a love of motorcycles. But an accident on his bike after a night of drinking was about to change his “average” life forever.

While chasing a friend who was also drinking, Angulo hit a sidewalk and was thrown from his bike. “I was lying there pissed off that I had crashed, and when I tried to turn over and get up, my legs did not respond.” Instant T7 para.

After his injury, Angulo struggled. “I kept finding myself in an emotional labyrinth of constant remorse and regret. The most difficult loss I had was my inability to forgive myself,” he says. “Then there were all the physical aspects of self maintenance.”

Being a dad is what finally spurred him to heal. “I knew it was important to be upbeat, to laugh at myself when I couldn’t reach something or when I found myself almost falling out of my chair,” he says. “I also had to continuously encourage them [his children] and acknowledge their feelings of anger and sadness, and believe we could still do many things together, too.”

Angulo started making YouTube videos with his kids to help; funny videos showing how he does things. His video-making also turned into creating themed photoshoots of people with disabilities, eventually resulting in his launching DisabledLifeMedia.com.

“I wanted to create an outlet to show the world that people with disabilities are relevant, beautiful and we matter.” The site has featured several colorful, risqué photoshoots. Angulo’s ultimate goal: “To educate, entertain, inspire and drive the message that we can still make a difference in life, connecting people all over the world with disabilities and bridging gaps.” Go to DisabledLifeMedia.com.

My Last Step BackwardHer Last Step Backwards
We all have our injury stories. Some of us like to talk about them, others not so much. But for Ms. Wheelchair USA 2012, Tasha Schuh, a C5 quad from Ellsworth, Wisc., her story was so profound that she had to write a book.

Aptly titled My Last Step Backward, Schuh’s book is a memoir built around her high-school injury while working backstage during rehearsal for a production of The Wizard of Oz. She unknowingly stepped backwards into an open trap door, fell 16 feet and landed on her back, breaking her neck and partially crushing her skull in the process.

Her book covers it all — going off to college, finding peace in her spiritual beliefs and eventually becoming a speaker. And most recently she married a local weather guy, which unfortunately didn’t make the book since it was post-publication. Schuh’s book is definitely worth the read.

Check it out: www.amazon.com/Last-Step-Backward-Tasha-Schuh/dp/1462404189

Swing, Swing Away
Makers of a wheelchair-accessible swing that both adults and kids will love, Bluegrass Playgrounds may have you rethinking your backyard swing. Made of sturdy steel with a height of 8 feet, these swings can hold both manual and power chairs and start at $1,317.

See them in action: bluegrassplaygrounds.com/swings-ADA-swings.htm

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