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My name is Garrison Redd and I am a Motivational Speaker, model, athlete/Paralympian, entrepreneur, and most of all an advocate for equal rights. I founded an organization called “TheGarrisonReddProject” with an essential goal of bettering the well-being of disabled individuals through a variety of methods. I provide free resources and services in the areas of advice, motivation, inspiration, health, and many other areas in order to improve the quality of living for disabled individuals.
I played various sports growing up such as boxing, basketball, baseball, and football. In football, I was a standout running back from youth football up until high school. I received various awards and accolades.
Going into my senior year at James Madison High School, I was outside on an ordinary summer night, when I was shot in my back. The bullet burned the nerves surrounding the t12 section of my spine, which left me unable to walk. Instead of feeling sorry for myself or depressed, I decided to triumph through the face of adversity. Most people would’ve felt that their life was coming to an end however, I felt like my life was just beginning. At 17 years old after this catastrophic injury had occurred to me, I wasn’t discouraged, because it made me into a different man. It made me think about the bigger picture. It made me think that maybe I was put here to inspire everyone from the youth to the elderly, which I am now on a journey to achieve.
Fast forward to present time, I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from York College. I am currently training for team USA para powerlifting with aspirations of winning a gold medal at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. I am a seasoned motivational speaker and I did a Ted Talk which is titled “Life is like Lemonade”, where I discuss some of the adversities I faced on my journey to success. I founded a nonprofit organization called TheGarrisonReddProject with a mission to raise awareness for disabled individuals along with promoting self-confidence.
TheGarrisonReddProject provides individuals with assistance in the community, the workplace, transportation, education and any other issues individuals may be experiencing. We also host fundraisers and charitable events to provide accessible equipment to individuals who are unable to afford certain items which will improve their quality of life such as wheelchairs, walkers, crutches and plenty other medical devices. TheGarrisonReddProject provides motivational and inspirational speeches to everyone on a variety of topics. Ultimately TheGarrisonReddProject has one goal in mind and that is “to make to this world more inclusive”.
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Hi! I'm the mom of a 23 year old son who was injured 9/10/17, so we are still very new to the SCI life and have soooo many questions about it all. He is a C7, T5/6 injury and is medically a quad. He has use of his arms, but limited use of his left hand (about 20%) and about 80% use of his right hand. He was extremely active pre-injury, and had gotten into weight lifting and hiking. He now does nothing but read and watch podcasts. I can't get him out of the house except for 3 days a week at the gym. He has basically quit living outside of the room we made for him by converting our carport. I am desperate for him to connect with others, and yet I know he has to want it himself. He wants to be independent, but doesn't really work at it (like I think he should). I didn't realize that this website could be a source of help for me so I'm excited about exploring the website and seeing all that it has to offer. The wonderful ladies of WAGS of SCI have been helpful, even though I'm a mom and not a wife or girlfriend
Injury or relation: Spinal cord injury, T11 due to a gun-shot wound when I was 16 years old (1984).
Hobbies/Interests: Playing Chess, competing in poker tournaments, traveling to places I’ve never been before, participating in family-related activities, learning things, boating, jet skiing, snowmobiling, target shooting, motorcycling, kayaking, horseback riding. I am also into anything related to the power of the human mind (e.g. personal growth & development) and power of the human touch (e.g. reiki and massage).
Why did you become a peer mentor? I became a peer mentor because I know what’s it like to live in this world with a disability, and to deal with other people who have a lack of empathy and compassion. I understand what’s it like to lose yourself and to feel worthless and a burden to others. I can relate to people who are losing hope as I, myself, tried to commit suicide. I can also relate to family members and friends of people with a disability because I’ve seen my entire family and friends impacted as well because of how my life has changed since my injury.
I also volunteer overseas (mainly Philippines - online and in person) helping my fellow PWD (People With Disabilities) improve their lives through public speaking and mentoring.
Facebook Account - I have been inactive on social media since January 2018 but still active on Facebook Messenger.
Christopher Reeves Foundation - I'm also one of the Peer Mentor for Christopher Reeve Foundation.