CURE NATION: Cure Advocate Chad Waligura is the CEO/Editor of Able Outdoors, a magazine that provides information and stories for people in the outdoor world who have disabilities. The magazine provides information on hunting, fishing, travel and alternative sports. They aim to bring the entire accessible outside world into one place, to be an information source for everything outdoors.
Chad is also a certified peer counselor and founding member of the TIRR Peers program at TIRR Memorial Herman Rehabilitation Program in Houston, TX.
Meet Chad in person along with his special guests, Rollettes stars Chelsie Hill and Steph Aiello plus adaptive sports expert Chris Collin as they lead a peer group get-together at TIRR REHAB HOSPITAL on Thursday, August 2, 2018!
See full details here.Chad has also recently been appointed as a member of the NRA’s Adaptive Shooting Sports Committee. The National Rifle Association’s Adaptive Shooting Sports program goal is to increase access and participation in shooting activities for people with disabilities through specialized techniques and technologies that are safe and unique to each individual.
WHY Chad Waligura Is Passionate about the Outdoors
“Thirty-one years ago I dove into a swimming pool, and my world changed forever,” Chad remembers. Chad hit the bottom of the pool and broke his neck at C7, but never considered he wouldn’t be able to participate in outdoor sports because of his injury. Later he searched for adaptive outdoor equipment. However, at that time, there was little equipment designed for people who used wheelchairs to be able to return to hiking, canoeing, hunting, fishing and other outdoor related activities.
“I began to develop my own equipment through trial and error and truly realized just how little adaptive equipment was available,” Waligura explains.
“That was one of the reasons I started writing, publishing and distributing ‘Able Outdoors.’ Today, more people with disabilities are getting back into outdoor sports, and more companies are building products for people with disabilities to use when they go outdoors.For instance, who would have thought we’d ever have an all-terrain wheelchair that would enable a person to stand up as he or she moves across country, navigating creeks, climbing mountains and cutting through swampy or sandy terrain?”
Chad also mentions the advantages of social media that allow people with disabilities to have a way to connect with other people with disabilities. As he emphasizes, “We can share what we’ve learned and the equipment we’ve used to become active in outdoor sports.”
“Every day that I’m hunting, fishing, hiking, training my dog and going into the outdoors, I see people with what once were considered limiting disabilities now participating in all these things.”
CHAD Starts “Able Outdoors” Magazine
“Able Outdoors” is sent to 5,000 people with disabilities three times per year.
A new addition to its staff is as Chad tabbed her, “The Queen of Inspiration – Ashlee Lundvall.” When Lundvall, an avid outdoors woman who hunts, fishes and hikes while using a wheelchair, met Chad and learned about “Able Outdoors,” she asked to come onboard and partner with the magazine. “Ashley helps with our marketing and obtaining and filling out the paperwork for our 501C status as a nonprofit,” he reports.
“Our magazine has become much more diverse and includes more people with different types of disabilities than ever before. Like the rest of the outdoor industry, we realize that women and children are one of the fastest growing segments of the outdoors.
Our goal and purpose is to try and reach everyone in the community of disabilities with our message that, yes, you can get out into the outdoors.”
“Able Outdoors” isn’t just for people with disabilities but contains articles too about the organizations and companies that support this 50 million person segment of the American population.
According to Chad, “Most of us with disabilities wouldn’t be able to do many of the things that we do without help from the non-disabled community. We want to spotlight the large number of volunteers and organizations too who are helping people with disabilities in our magazine.”
VIDEO: ABLE OUTDOORS’ ASHLEE Lundvall EXPLAINS WHY SHE PURSUES THE OUTDOORS IN A WHEELCHAIR
One of the sections of “Able Outdoors” is devoted to new products and equipment to help people with disabilities enjoy outdoor activities.
The magazine’s articles also include information about the federal government, states and communities helping to open up the outdoors for people with disabilities by having special seasons, bag limits and more-accessible public hunting and fishing areas, as well as places to hike and shoot photos.
“When I first started ‘Able Outdoors’ 10 years ago, you rarely, if ever, saw people with disabilities featured on TV shows or in videos and newspaper articles,” Chad emphasizes. “But there’s been a growing awareness by the general public of the community of people with disabilities who desire to get back into the outdoors and also to bring newcomers too who never have considered participating in outdoor sports due to their disabilities.”
The Changes Waligura Has Seen in the Outdoors for People with Disabilities
When asked about changes since the time of Chad’s injury that make the outdoors more accessible for people with disabilities, he answers, “In the last couple of years, I’ve seen more guns, bows and other types of equipment being built for people with disabilities and being made with adaptations for hunting, fishing, swimming, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, travel and other outdoor sports.
“Since the mid-1980s, when the internet was only a mere baby in our culture, the internet now provides more videos, stories, photos and entertainment for people with disabilities. The work individuals have done to make people more aware of people with disabilities and the accommodations needed for them has paid results. People with disabilities can participate in outdoors activities that 10 or 20 years ago may have been impossible. I no longer have to make my own custom equipment to hunt, fish, hike, photograph and travel into the back country.”
The Outdoor Future for People with Disabilities with Chad Waligura
Chad mentions that as individuals live longer, they may become people with disabilities due to hearing loss, impaired vision, arthritis and injuries.
“The community of disabilities is growing every year and has needs for products and services,” he explains. “Today due to products for people with disabilities, we’re seeing older and younger people getting out and taking advantage of all that Mother Nature has to offer. The disability community is not a static number of 50 million. As improvements are made in medicine and rehabilitation for people with disabilities, our population will continue to grow. We are consumers. We travel, eat out and participate in a wide variety of activities that include the outdoors.”
When asked about the future of the community of people with disabilities, Chad says, “It’s increasing by leaps and bounds.”
“There are opportunities for people in business and in government by meeting the needs of this expanding population. I’m hearing more from people having strokes, heart attacks and other illnesses, or a family member who’s become disabled. The person who calls often asks, ‘How can I get back into the outdoors, or how can I help my family member get back out into the outdoors?’
‘Able Outdoors’ plans to help support this growing demographic with information about places to go, things to see, adventures to have and products to use to make their outdoor experiences more enjoyable and more satisfying.”
Get Able Outdoors Magazine
Go to the Able Outdoors website at, or call Chad Waligura at 979-541-4954 to learn more. The subscription fee is $15 per year for quarterly copies.
“We’re hoping that in the very near future, we’ll be able to give the magazine away for free to everyone in the community of disabilities,” he emphasizes.
Waligura Tells Why He’s an Ambassador for Cure Medical
“I’m using the Cure straight catheter,” Chad explains. “I’ve tried numbers of different catheters made by various manufacturers. The Cure catheter has the best tip and is the easiest one for me to use – going in and out is much easier than with other brands of catheters.”
“I tested at least 10 different brands and types of catheters and the Cure catheter was the best for me.”“I became a Cure Advocate because 10 percent of the company’s net income is given for medical research to find a cure for spinal cord injuries and other causes of disability that not only affect me but also millions of other people. I’m looking for a cure just like all people with disabilities are.
Cure Medical is an active partner of the community of people with disabilities. I feel like companies who aren’t a part of looking for solutions to living with a disability are a part of the problem we have.”
“Cure Medical is an exception to the rule,” Chad explains.
To request free samples of the Cure Catheter® or any Cure Medical catheter, contact your local distributor of quality healthcare products, or click here.
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