CURE NATION: With more than 3 million YouTube hits in less than three months, Richard Corbett aims to connect with viewers who have the same thing in common: using a wheelchair. Read on to see why his Wheels2Walking adventures have the enthralling ability to encourage, motivate and educate not just people who have spinal cord injury but also the world at large!
When you meet Richard for the first time, you’ll realize in a matter of seconds that he finds passion and purpose through creating authentic content about life after spinal cord injury. As you tune into his YouTube channel, you’ll find Richard encouraging his viewers to not only join him on his adventures, but to also explore their own world – whether you’re walking or rolling.
“Nine years ago, my life changed forever due to a 50-foot fall. Now I am ready to share my strength and hope with you,” Richard explains.
A 9-Year Journey of Growth and Determination
While taking a jog one day in his neighborhood nine years ago, Richard’s life changed in ways he never expected. Falling 50 feet and landing on concrete, Richard sustained a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the waist down. His other injuries included a crushed elbow and a split-open sternum.
Medical professionals explained to Richard that the chances of him walking ever again were slim to none.
While hearing the news was shocking at first, Richard gradually transformed his feelings of defeat and sadness to ones of determination and resilience.“When I was first injured,” Richard explains, “I had to relearn how to do everything from trial and error. Constantly failing and learning what worked best for me.”
As a new wheelchair user, Richard noticed a lack of online resources for individuals using a wheelchair.
“At the beginning, if I had a resource like this, I would’ve watched every video.” Richard explains. “There are people who get injured and that become paralyzed every day. All the time. And there just aren’t any resources out there, other than your typical physical therapy and the stuff they teach you at the hospital.”
With the help of his childhood friend Andrew Deitsch, they created the YouTube channel Wheels2Walking. The videos you’ll discover there are intended to offer resources to others who are finding their new normal after a traumatic injury.
Richard strives with every video to show his viewers that you can have a massive, incredible and enjoyable quality of life post-SCI.
“One of the things I want to do is to destigmatize and normalize wheelchair users, to the point where you see us for who we are. Wheelchairs are just a device. A tool we use to get around. Not necessarily a part of our identity,” Richard states in his video titled ‘8 Years in a Wheel Chair – What I’ve Learned’.
Richard discovers amazing technology at the Abilities Expo
The Cure team recently invited Richard to attend the Abilities Expo in Chicago this summer. The Abilities Expo is a traveling expo that takes place nationwide in eight major metropolitan areas, offering resources, products and services under one roof that are needed for individuals with disabilities.
In the video below, Richard captures some of the amazing technology emerging today for wheelchairs and related products at the Abilities Expo. After watching, experience the Expo for yourself at any of their upcoming events happening in a city near you. Pick one here.
MAN ON A MISSION: Millions of Views and Just Getting Started
The most popular video Richard has created (so far!) is titled “Why I Use a Wheelchair if I Can Walk” and has 1.7 million views on YouTube, more than 400,000 views on Facebook and he’s just getting started!
The video – which is equal parts hilarious and informative – educates individuals on common misconceptions while delivering the lessons in a fun, relatable tone.
If you’re anything like us, you’ll instantly feel like you’re chatting with a friend as you watch Richard’s humbling and hysterical experiences online.
His humor and ability to see the positive in all situations parallels a sense of compassion and drive to help people live life on their terms – one that everyone, walking or rolling, can relate to.
“I still have every reason to whine and moan,” Richard shares. “But I choose to do things that make me happy. I choose to focus on the positive and not on the negative. Because if I continually focus on the negative and describe my life as negative, guess what? I’ve got a negative, sad and depressing life.”
“But this is very important for you to understand,” he continues. “If you choose to focus on the positive, if you choose to focus on the happy, if you choose to focus on what makes you happy and do things that make you happy, you will be a happy person. And therefore, happiness is a choice.”
CURE MEDICAL SUPPORTS COMMUNITY ADVOCATES LIKE RICHARD CORBETT & WHEELS2WALKING
Immediately upon connecting with Richard at a community event earlier this year, the CURE NATION team fully understood why Richard’s chosen path centers on helping others along the difficult journey of reclaiming life after SCI — a journey that he unfortunately had to go through alone.
The considerable time and money that Richard spends in creating his videos isn’t invested for the self-serving purpose of obtaining personal attention, like you’ll often see with many YouTubers today.
That’s why we’ve quietly worked behind the scenes to help open doors to ongoing opportunities for Wheels2Walking educational programs and outreach efforts. It’s our hope here at the CURE NATION that Richard’s educational initiative will change lives for the better across our community for many, many years to come!
If you’d like to help support Wheels2Walking educational programs too, please contact Richard via www.wheels2walking.com.
Founded by a quadriplegic, Cure Medical is the only catheter manufacturer in the world that donates 10% of net income to support research programs in pursuit of a cure for urinary retention, paralysis, spinal cord injury and central nervous system disorders.
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