Wheelie True Stories

A Positive Spin

I find the majority of the population would look at James and I with pity, assuming our life is difficult and unfortunate.

Maybe, in hindsight, it is a little bit…. I guess, I just never looked at it that way! I have always known James in a wheelchair; I fell in love with him sitting down, I don’t know him any other way. There have been times when I would lie in bed and envision what he would look like if he were able bodied. How tall would he be? Would he be skinny/muscular? How would he act? The harsh truth is James would not be James if he wasn’t in a wheelchair. Our relationship would never be if his legs didn’t work. He would be the first to tell you that by adding wheels to his ass he changed in many ways….for the better. Now I know many of you might squirm in your seat by me saying James’ accident was a positive thing. It wasn’t. It was a very hard time for James but it is what it is and was what it was. Positivity is all you have. So when I say James’ spinal cord injury is a positive aspect in our lives that is because that is the only way to look at.

Wheeling instead of walking has given James many experiences, good and bad, but it has shaped him into the guy I love today. Nothing is impossible and no idea is too big. When I say let’s throw a party, he says let’s throw a concert, when I say Mexico sounds nice he says “well, let’s go to Africa!” Okay, the dude drives me a little bonkers! Haha!

Besides the prime parking and skipping lines at airports and theme parks (I’m not even going to lie that all those things are AWESOME!)

my world exploded when I met James.

I learned the word respect and how vital that is in a relationship; it took a wheel man to teach me that. When we do things together we do them as a team, I will grab something from the top shelf while he grabs something from the bottom. Life has become an adventure and anyone in a relationship with someone in a chair will tell you the same thing…. It IS NOT a boring partnership. Adventure is abundant and the excitement of “can we do that?” turns into f*$# it let’s try!

I think the number 1 positive thing about wheelchair life is the people you meet. My best friends are in wheelchairs and they are the most awesome people I have ever met (you all know who you are). And they are not awesome because they are in wheelchairs, they are awesome just because. I would have never developed the close and meaningful friendships I have now if I would have never met James.

I guess what I am trying to say is that a spinal cord injury, or being mobility impaired sucks the big one sometimes; however, there are some amazing things that come with rims and spokes. There are times when you just can’t change your situation but you can change your attitude and embrace what this community has to offer. I highly recommend that if you or your partner has not gotten involved in some sort of wheelchair sport or peer group, DO IT NOW, it is one of the most positive and fun things you can do with the situation given.


Pushing on…

Chelsea (with Sam’s permission!)


  • Barbara Millet

    I love this. I am Ben’s Pages mom .
    He talks about James all the time.
    My best friend was in a wheelchair and she was so awesome and soulful
    Thank you for sharing ,
    Barbara Miller
    Ben Page momma

  • Maggie Frey

    Very well stated….So many people think pity or miracle and do not see reality in us chair people. Nice article.

  • Claudia

    Wow! You hit the nail on the head! Everything you have said is exactly how I feel towards my husband. When we met he had been in a chair about 10 yrs and VERY independent. I saw the chair for abour 2 minutes and never really saw it again as something in the way. I fell in the love with the man that he became due to that chair. I know you can relate. I never gave it any thought about physical challenges we might have together in the future, I just dove in. Not saying there aren’t days were his chair isn’t a big pain in the butt or my toes but then again he deals with my issues too. The past 12 yrs have had ups and downs but show me any relationship that hasn’t. I don’t deserve any special recognition because I married a man in a wheelchair just like he doesn’t get congratulations for marrying a crazy Puerto rican-american! Thank you for always articulating exactly how I feel and the struggles we share together.
    Thank you
    Claudia from Florida who loves her Canadian!

  • Cecille

    You guys look awesome,i agree its not in physical appearance but what kind of person he is…proud of you chelsea cuz’ you understand and see whats in him better than regular guys that treat there woman in nasty way….sam 🤘🤘🤘you’re my rock….

  • Pat Palamar

    Hey, Chelsea!!! I loved this article. I have a quick question for you, if you don’t mind. I am in an electric chair but was wondering what kind of chair James is using in the sand and can he maneuver it himself through the sand? I would think that would be practically impossible!

  • Susan

    Thank you both so much for posting about your abilities and difficulties living life with a chair. The man I have feelings for has not been able bodied for a few years, but this is the only way I have known him. He is a very handsome, positive, inventive, charming, humorous and supremely intelligent gentleman. His goal is to use his limbs on command and to be independent again. If he can someday resume independence or if he can’t quite reach his goal makes no difference to me in defining our budding friendship, for I feel so heaven sent lucky to have him in my life. Bless you all, ladies and your gents.

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