A guy in a wheelchair is holding hands with a standing girl. Both are surrounded by a red heart that says Wheel Love
Wheelie True Stories

The New Wheel Love

Hello again! We’re back! It’s been a while, so let us tell you where we went, what we did and what you can expect from us moving forward.

Sam says…

Wheel Love was born in 2016 out of a need for connection. Chels and I had needed someone who understood some of the unique situations and struggles we found ourselves in because of the fact that our significant others used wheelchairs. We needed someone who would have detailed discussions about poop and sex and every other uncomfortable, awkward subject without cringing and still show up for coffee the next time you asked. Someone who would laugh at the inappropriate wheelchair humor and stop with you to take pictures of your man on the ground when they fell out of their chair.

We put our stories and our experiences into words and videos and posted them on our little corner of the internet for whoever may stumble across it to read and maybe, just maybe, relate. We’ve since talked to people all over the globe, met new friends and made some genuine connections; connections that we wouldn’t have made without Wheel Love. We’ve had a ton of fun writing, making videos and chatting to people from all walks (and rolls) of life. It’s been an amazing journey!

But somewhere along the way, we ran out of steam. Not because we ran out of things to say or because we couldn’t come up with content ideas, but because we got comfortable. We had made those connections that we had been searching for and it all became normal. And that’s the thing about this SCI life, you just have to live it. The good, the bad, the adventures and misadventures, the struggles and the triumphs, they’re all just life. We had found our community, a place where our daily lives meshed with those of others and that hole that Wheel Love was created to fill, was full. Then life got busy; careers, community, kids, travel and we would throw out a random post here and there, but eventually that dwindled away too and we just stopped posting all together.

Maybe it has been getting to know some brand new Wheel Loves and their spouses over the last little while, or maybe it’s been all the COVID related down time, but we’ve recently found a renewed sense of purpose. If this whole wheelchair thing has just become normal life for us, it’s probably about time we normalize it for everyone else too. So, that’s exactly what we are going to do.

Welcome to the new Wheel Love. We aren’t just Sam and Chelsea anymore; we are husbands and wives, moms and dads, siblings, kids, friends, and caregivers coming together under one major commonality. And that commonality isn’t just our two guys with spinal cord injuries anymore; it’s SCI, degenerative diseases, disorders, mobility issues and injuries… it’s wheels. It’s a network of people with one common goal: to create a community by building genuine friendships based on supporting one another, learning together and helping others to make this wheelchair life their best life.

Chelsea says…

Wheel Love to me, has always been a safe space. A place where I can go grab a coffee with someone who understands, a place where I can write and I know someone can relate and a place to just be myself with no judgement, just love. Looking back on these few years, I am so proud of the community Wheel Love has become. I don’t think Sam and I realized (back in Wheel Love’s infancy) just how much of an impact this blog would have. 

And then something crazy happened, I literally forgot James was in a wheelchair. I mean, I knew he was in a chair but it didn’t phase me anymore, it just became…”normal”. I don’t want to say the novelty wore off cause that sounds terrible but essentially that may be the best way to describe it. Life just became life and the wheelchair was just part of it. Nothing seemed to phase me much anymore and I simply and genuinely forgot about it. Hence, Wheel Love started to die a beautiful death. I say beautiful because, really, what an amazing representation of life falling into place. I talked to some Wheel Loves recently and I asked the question: At what point in your relationship did you realize that you had completely forgotten the chair? We all came up with around the same time frame, about 4-5 years. I’m interested in what other readers have to say about that because that seemed to be the consensus. Which makes total sense because this was the time frame Sam and I started to release less and less content. That is until COVID…

Thank you world wide pandemic for giving us the time to realize how much we missed Wheel Love and the blog. The time at home really opened us up to conversation and dialogue with our community, who we so desperately needed at this time of uncertainty. The outcome? We are better together. The blog writing and social media tapered off but one thing that grew stronger was our network of Wheel Loves. Sometimes the immense pressure of timed posts, the likes and the followers become too much and you have to sit back and evaluate what’s really important and to us that’s easy, it’s community. So with that being said I would like to welcome you to the new Wheel Love. The same concept of course but our blog posts just won’t be our own. Our social media won’t just be Sam and I. We are proud to open this space up to the community and many new contributors because like we always say, not every SCI is the same and everyone’s story is different. We thank you all for sticking with us over the years and we are so excited to deliver new stories and experiences from a multitude of spouses, family members and loved ones. We really are better together and if YOU have a story you would like to tell, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Remember you’re not alone and we all got your back, this life is wild and it’s beautiful and we’re glad you’re here with us!

So, to those of you who have been with us since the beginning, thank you for your continued love and support; without you, Wheel Love wouldn’t exist. It’s your messages, your social media tags and your kind words that have kept us going. To those of you who may be finding us for the first time, we are so glad you’re here. We hope all of you will find something or someone you can relate to here and that you’ll help us normalize this sometimes challenging, but mostly amazing life we lead.

Pushing on…

Sam & Chelsea

7 Comments

  • Vicki Ioannidou

    You’re back!
    I have been following you from the beginning and you have helped me help my family through the first years of my grandson’s SCI and quadreplegia.
    He is 21 years old now, finished with Honors and just applied for his Masters.
    Andreas is very lucky to have a good at home caregiver and a network of friends who always take him with them on their adventures. I chuckle knowing that every one if his friends know hiw to work a catheter!
    You are quite right that we and apparently everybody else, dont see the wheel

    chair anymore and that’s because Andreas is so cool about it.
    Keep safe in these troubled times
    Grandma Vicki

    • Samantha

      Aw, yay! So glad that you guys were able to ‘get by with a little help from your friends’ and Wheel Love! Glad that you’ve stuck with us, Vicki! And so happy to hear that Andreas is doing so well!! Much love!

  • Jennifer West

    I’ve missed your posts! You both write with so much emotion and humour and I always enjoy reading what you have to say. Welcome back!

  • Colleen

    The new launch looks great! Thank you so much for all of your time and efforts. I know this website is going to be a conduit for healing, acceptance and knowledge for many to come. Love it!!!!

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