At 21, most young people are just beginning life, but for me, my life almost ended and was certainly changed forever.
In 1998, I was involved in a near fatal motorcycle accident that left me with a 10% chance to live. By the grace of God, I survived. However, I had two broken femurs, a broken arm, a broken jaw, massive head trauma and a spinal cord injury that left me paralyzed from the waist down. The doctors literally had to piece me back together to save my life. Being paralyzed is a hard fact to face and not an easy one to swallow at the age of 21. As if the physical injuries weren’t bad enough, mentally I began to break down. I had to start my life over and learn how to live life in a wheelchair, but I was determined to not let that stop me from being the best I can be. What doesn’t kill me only makes me stronger. It’s just a roadblock to get through and with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ living in me nothing can stand in my way. He is the true source of all my strength.
Along with furthering my education and starting a new and promising career, I got involved in the growing sport of wheelchair bodybuilding in 2001. I began competing at the national level in 2002. Each year I was getting bigger and better. Things were really starting to turn around. My job was going great and I was actually enjoying my life even though I was paralyzed. However, just when things were going so well, in October 2004 my dad lost his battle with cancer at the age of 50. I miss him very much but at the same time I know he went home to be with the Lord where there is no more pain and suffering and that brings me joy. A month later I was involved in a serious car accident. I had to be air lifted to the trauma center and spent the next 3 weeks in the ICU. I suffered multiple facial fractures, two broken ankles, a broken right femur and fractured tibia and fibula. That accident caused me to miss the 2005 Wheelchair Nationals bodybuilding competition. I was in bad shape. With my jaw being wired shut for three weeks, my only source of nutrition was liquids.
It was thanksgiving, I was in the hospital and my dinner was a protein shake.I wasn’t too happy about that and wasn’t feeling too thankful for anything at this point. After spending time with God in the word and in prayer He opened up my eyes and showed me how much I did have to be thankful for. I realized that there was a reason why I was still alive and that He does have a plan and purpose for my life. My whole outlook on life was changed from that point on. I surrendered my life to Him. My will is now His will and my plans are now His plans. I trust in Him with all my heart even though I don’t under-stand why things are the way they are. I know He is in complete control. In all my ways I acknowledge Him and He directs my paths. There is no better way to live than that.
A year later I was right back in the swing of things. I returned to work and picked right back up where I left off. I bought my first house and I’m able to live independently once again. I got back into the gym and started competing again and continue to excel in the growing sport of wheelchair bodybuilding today. That’s the favor of God!
When God takes something from your grasp, he’s not punishing you but merely opening your hands to receive something better! The will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect you. If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it. Amen!
Winners never quit and quitters never win. Being able to overcome all the obstacles in my life is a great victory already, and that’s what it takes to not only be a winner but a true champion. Right now my life is better than ever. I never thought I would be able to say that. Even though I still can’t walk in the natural realm, I now walk by faith not by sight and that’s what gives me the victory over this battle with my paralysis. I don’t let it stop me from being all I can be. To walk again would just put the icing on the cake.and it will happen. You’ve got to have faith. It can move mountains. Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible!
All glory to God for all my achievements of course. None of this would be possible without Him. Through Jesus Christ, all things are possible!
“I can do all things through Christ, which strengthens me.”(Phil 4:13)
• Amateur Contest History
2017 NPC Lehigh Valley Championships : 1st Place
2012 NPC Wheelchair Nationals : 2nd Place
2010 NPC USA Wheelchair Championship : 2nd Place
2010 NPC Wheelchair Nationals : 1st Place
2009 NPC USA Wheelchair Championship : 1st Place
2009 NPC Wheelchair Nationals : 1st Place
2008 NGA Mr. & Mrs. Natural Philadelphia : 1st Place
2007 Atlantic City : 2nd Place
2007 NPC USA Wheelchair Championship : 1st Place
2007 NPC Wheelchair Nationals : 1st Place
2006 NPC Wheelchair Nationals : 2nd Place
2005 NPC Greater Gulf States : 1st Place
2004 NPC Wheelchair Nationals : 1st Place
2003 NPC Wheelchair Nationals : 1st Place
• IFBB PRO Contest History
2017 Dallas Europa Games : 3rd Place
2017 Arnold Classic Africa : 3rd Place
2016 Toronto Pro SuperShow : 2nd Place
2013 Houston Pro : 3rd Place