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Bob Vogel’s 12 Holiday Gifts for Wheelchair Users

Bob Vogel’s 12 Holiday Gifts for Wheelchair Users

‘Tis the season for holiday gift lists. For about eight years after my injury in 1985, I was bothered by annual variations of “gift ideas for wheelchair users,” and I couldn’t figure out why. I’d learned to live and thrive as an adventurous T10 para, and would have been thrilled with a gift of, say, […]

From Push Girl to Push Goddess

From Push Girl to Push Goddess

It’s always difficult to say how someone’s life will end up after sustaining a spinal cord injury. For Sharina Jones, shot by a neighborhood kid when she was just 5 years old, she holds no ill will towards the boy, or her injury. A self-described “Push Goddess,” Sharina, nearing 30, has transformed into a strong […]

He wanted to dance; I didn't

He wanted to dance; I didn’t

How do you handle the embarrassing situation when a stranger pushes your wheelchair out on the dance floor with your permission?

Beware of the Angry Crippled Mentor

Beware of the Angry Crippled Mentor

The way the human brain copes with guilt from disability never ceases to amaze me. They feel bad for us; they walk and we can’t. Yes, it’s a crappy injustice, but you don’t see us bawling over it. Yet for once able-bodied people have gotten it right when it comes to helping out people with […]

Tim Gilmer with his grandsons Peighton and Cooper.

Disability Squared

When you multiply a number by itself, the result is “squared.” So what happens when you multiply an existing disability with an additional illness or injury? Well, it’s not a simple equation — and often there are exponential results. “It scares the hell out of me! I’ve spent 48 years in a wheelchair, but dealing […]

Samuel Karp beams at his son as the then- 18-year-old rotates in a circle bed.

My Father’s Suicide … and My Attempt to Understand It

It was beyond my capacity to imagine that, 13 weeks after my spinal cord injury, the day before I came home from rehab, my father would take his own life.

When Your Parents Can't Move On

When Your Parents Can’t Move On

A recent episode of Push Girls exemplified one of the most frustrating things that can happen when you have a disability – when your parents take it harder than you do. While we may be able to move on after a couple of years, parents often times cannot. Maybe it’s harder to accept from the […]

Learning to accept

Learning to accept

It ain’t easy looking at yourself in the mirror and loving everything you see. “Hey, I look great!” isn’t usually what comes to mind. And when you have a disability, all the stupid baggage that can come with this label (you know what I’m talking about – feelings of shame, worthlessness, embarrassment) is just so….hard. […]

Oof - the stresses of disabled life

Oof – the stresses of disabled life

When AB people talk about being stressed, it takes all the mite I can muster to not laugh in their faces. They may know stress, but they don’t know real stress until they’ve lived a life of a quadriplegic. When you’re dependent on a powerchair for your legs, caregivers to get you out of bed […]

Tim Gilmer


For the past few months I’ve been chronicling my battle with severe infection that eventually led to amputation, but contrary to what I wrote last month, my left leg, Lenny, is not gone forever. Only below the knee. In a moment of self-pity, I exaggerated my loss. In truth, I still have Mini-Lenny to care […]