Once a Dancer, Always a Dancer

Kim OcampoAlways the girl with a smile on her face, Kim Ocampo, a 24-year-old dancer living in Oakland, California, never let her smile wane. In 2015, she was hit by a car while riding her bicycle to the dance studio where she taught salsa, ballroom and tango, and competed. “I had the green light to cross the street, but a car ran the red light and struck me on my right side.”

She wound up with a T8 injury but has had a very positive outlook, which she credits to her family. “I believe a strong support system is important, as well as how I was raised by my mom. I was always a happy baby.” Ocampo has bounced back from her injury, fiercely wanting to learn as much as she can about her new life. “Don’t change who you are, but become a better ‘you’ by overcoming challenges and conquering your fears,” she says. “Surround yourself with positive people and be open to trying new things.”

She practiced what she preached a few months ago when she flew to Oakland to take part in a seven-month apprenticeship for the Axis Dance Company, one of the most prestigious wheelchair/mixed-ability dance companies in the world. “I’m learning how to dance with my new body, as well as teach adults and kids how to dance.”

For a dancer who in her previous life danced in a Pitbull video, her post-injury transition has been surprisingly fluid. Her positive outlook has even garnered the attention of a film director who is currently working on a documentary about her life. Called The Kimberly Ocampo Story, the film will show how her positivity has touched many lives. It will be out in a couple of years.  Follow her online at kimocampo.com.

Watch the trailer:

A Cool Mobile Lift

EasyGo transfer chairWhen you’re looking for robotic-like help in the transferring department, there is a new, compact option on the market. Made in Greece, the easyGo is small and light and has sturdy wheels, so it can be taken out into the world. With only seven parts — which can be disassembled in minutes and fit in the back seat or trunk — the easyGo can also be used anywhere you can think of: with furniture, the bathtub, movie theater, traveling and beyond. It even makes it easy to be transferred into a car, sparing caregivers a backbreaking transfer. The easyGo does require an attendant. Hydraulic or electric versions are available. Price and import charges are available upon request at easygo-disabled.com.

Blog to Follow: Quadcapable

Charlie Merritt, a C3 quadriplegic, former Marine and strongman competitor, has started his own blog — Quadcapable. His goal is to create awareness, from sharing posts on using FES to strengthen his arms so he will be able to lift again, to a video on how he does a quad cough-assist.

Check it out at quadcapable.com.