A Life Changing Meeting
At the beginning of February, I attended a meeting that changed my life.
I am so excited to announce that I am producing my first film, a feature documentary in honor of my father that will tell many different stories, from triumph to the progress within scientific research. I met Richard Joel and Adam Matalon for the first time at this meeting and they have decided to partner with me to produce this feature-length documentary.
It will all start just a few weeks from now when I walk the LA marathon to make history for the SCI community.
All of the things that have happened prior to making this a reality are small yet important details. I’ve known my whole life that I have a very specific purpose in this world, and that purpose is to make a lasting positive impact on the lives of others, especially for those that have been affected by Spinal Cord Injury.
If you’re not familiar with my backstory, let me fill you in.
In 1979, my father was swimming at Plum Island, Massachusetts, which is not far from where I grew up. While he was swimming, a sudden strong undertow pulled him beneath the surface and caused him to hit his head on the ocean floor. The impact broke his upper spine and rendered him a C5-C6 complete quadriplegic.
My parents and the example they provided me with growing up has shaped me in so many ways. Their commitment to each other and empathy for others has been directly instilled in me.
Honoring my father's strength and courage by advocating for the Spinal Cord Injury Community has led me down some truly amazing paths in life.
He taught me that strength doesn’t come from what you can do, it comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t. It’s like taking on this million-dollar project. I have no idea exactly how I’ll get it done, I just know I will.
For over a decade now, I’ve been working on what I call the Create Prevail Wish Project, which is essentially an outlet to help others in any way possible. Create Prevail Wish was started to honor my father and to share his priceless lessons with those in need.
Around 2003, I decided to make white bracelets with “Create Prevail Wish” written on each one to help raise funds so that I could compete in pageants.
“Create” is to inspire others to do! To be the creator of their world.
The word “Prevail” is a reminder to always try your best to prevail over obstacles and adversities.
“Wish” is meant to inspire others to never stop dreaming and not be afraid to pursue their wildest dreams.
Create Prevail Wish is actually an acronym for my name. Each one of those words embodies ideas that I truly value.
That brings us back to the meeting that changed my life. Can you imagine how surprised I was when Adam Matalon, a co-producer for my new documentary on SCI we are developing, gave me a white bracelet during a meeting last night?
Time literally stood still for me at that moment.
When Adam put the bracelet on my wrist, I felt chills throughout my entire body. I was 19 when I first made those bracelets, and now to have that put on my wrist after all I have gone through was truly unbelievable.
The bracelet Adam gave me was almost the same as the ones I used for my “Create Prevail Wish” Project back in the day. This bracelet simply stated, “You are appreciated”.
Adam told me that he hadn’t found anybody over the last 7 months that was deserving of the bracelet and what it represented, until me. What a way to close the deal on a lifelong passion project!
This project is so much bigger than me. It will all start just a few weeks from now when I walk the LA marathon to make history for the SCI community.
Adam Gorlinsky (www.igotlegs.org), my dear friend who I’ve only known for a very short time, will be the first man to complete the LA marathon in an exoskeleton. That means he will be the first paralyzed man in history to walk and complete the LA marathon using a ReWalk exoskeleton.
Together, we will bridge the gap on what it means to be disabled and able-bodied.
Adam is an aspiring filmmaker, like myself, and an incredible (SCI) advocate. The upcoming race symbolizes a special impact for both of our lives. Not only do we have a connection with SCI, but we are also both aspiring filmmakers and creative souls.
Adam found me after seeing that I was an SCI advocate on Instagram and wrote me a letter about how inspiring it was to hear my story. I replied back with “You’re the inspiration, not me!” which prompted us to continue the conversation.
Today, I’m so excited to make the official announcement that we will be making history together. This project will support “I Got Legs”, Adam’s nonprofit, and will support mine as well if I can establish it. I get very emotional just thinking about what it will feel like for Adam and me to cross that finish line together.
I know that my father will be there with me every step of the way. In 2001, the year my father passed, LIFESUIT One (LSI) was built, then in 2005 LS12 was worn in a foot race for the very first time. It was worn by Monty Reed, who set the Land Speed Distance Records for walking in robot suits.
This life-changing technology is amazing and I am so excited to spread the word about it with this race and the upcoming documentary.
Contributing to history and producing this documentary means the world to me. As you can see, there have been so many small details that have fallen into place to make this project happen.
However, in order to help make this dream a reality, we need your help! Stay tuned for more information on how you can contribute to this incredible film.