Wheelchair Friends Make National News

So many folks have been talking about Matthew Castelluccio's debut on 20/20 last night, we thought we would share that video today [if you haven’t seen it yet] along with some other notable national news debuts from other friends who also use wheelchairs.

Matthew Castelluccio and his beautiful family.
Matthew Castelluccio and his beautiful family.

Matthew’s story on ABC's 20/20 discussed the motorcycle accident that left him a paraplegic, and then revolved around his passi on for wheelchair dancing. The interview shared how dancing became a central theme of his recent wedding to Elaine Defrancesco.  Matthew and his wife both work at Helen Hayes Rehabilitation Hospital in West Haverstraw, NY, and they are huge proponents of wheelchair dancing for both rehabilitation and recreational purposes.

See their full interview here:

About Helen Hayes Rehabilitation Hospital
Founded in 1900, Helen Hayes Hospital is believed to be the first freestanding state-operated rehabilitation hospital in the United States. Today, it is one of the nation’s most dynamic and progressive rehabilitation facilities, recognized as a center of innovation and excellence in physical rehabilitation medicine and research. Located in West Haverstraw, NY, the hospital is ideally situated to care for patients from throughout the tri-state New York metropolitan region and beyond. Our reputation for excellence, earned over a century of care, is one reason that medical professionals refer their most complex rehabilitation cases to us and that patients choose us for their physical rehabilitation. Learn more at: https://www.helenhayeshospital.org/who-we-are/

Aaron Fotheringham Sets Guiness World Record For Wheelchair Flips

Photo Source: https://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2008/oct/31/wheelchair-athletes-back-flip-lands-him-record-boo/

In 2008, Aaron Fotheringham landed his spot in the record books as a pioneer in wheelchair sports. Guinness World Records listed Aaron as the first person to complete a back flip in a wheelchair. He completed his record-breaking stunt in front of a crowd of more than 300 at Doc Romeo Park in Las Vegas. To make his mark on the history books, Fotheringham rolled down a skatepark ramp to build up speed. He then went up another ramp and landed his flip on flat ground.

Here’s a video of Aaron completing his trademark wheelchair flips, including quite a few crashes along the way:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NJvgT60-mk&w=420&h=315]

Chet Dyreson Rolls Across The US on an ATV Wheelchair

49-year-old Chet Dyreson of Perris, California has always been involved in motocross–racing high performance motorcycles on off road terrain and going through obstacles that most people never attempt.  He refused to be limited by a tragic accident that left him using a wheelchair.  Instead, he put his engine-building skills to work and designed an ATV wheelchair that carried him cross-country. "It's got a 250 cc Kawasaki engine and a golf cart drive clutch," Chet explains.

Chet hit the road to raise awarenss for spinal cord injury.
Chet hit the road to raise awarenss for spinal cord injury.

Chet says, “I decided if I made a cross country 4,000 mile road trip in this wheelchair that people would see the value of it and understand that people in wheelchairs could go anywhere. At the same time, I hoped to bring awareness of the need for money for spinal cord research.”

Chet laughs as he tell about always being asked, “How did you get permission to drive your wheelchair on the interstate?” And his answer is that he’s never asked for permission. “The first time I was stopped by the highway patrol was in southern California when an officer pulled me over and said, “I don’t think you should be out here in a wheelchair. Let me go do some research.” He called his office, came back to me in a few minutes and said, “Have a safe trip. I can find nothing that keeps you from being on the highway in a wheelchair.”

See how Chet rolls here


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