The @reevefoundation has started a campaign with the hashtag #ReeveSeeUs and it is designed to bring awareness to overcome the misconceptions that come with paralysis. Asking us to be apart of this has been exciting and special! The new campaign is allowing paralysis to be redefined, and broken of all the stereotypes that come along with it. • When I first met Kiel, I can honestly say that I never once “saw the wheelchair”- but rather I saw the incredible man he is. When you meet Kiel for the first time, you’re drawn to his outgoing personality and personally, for me his smile that can light up any room. • Kiel is someone who lives with a “no excuses” mentality, he is a fighter, loving, personable and courageous. He’s competitive and he’s strong willed. Kiel is many things, but I never look at him as someone who is “in a wheelchair.” When Kiel was 14 he broke his neck playing football, leaving him a C5 quadriplegic. • Even so, this injury has never stopped Kiel from fulfilling his goals or dreams in life. He’s succeeded in so many ways, constantly proving the stereotypes to be wrong. He is not defined in anyway by his spinal cord injury, the wheelchair or by the paralysis in anyway. Kiel is the light of my life, my soon to be HUSBAND, and the man I cannot imagine my life without. He makes days brighter, moments more special and just life so much more meaningful. When people look at us, I want them to know that we are a couple that travels, is adventurous and happily lives life to the fullest. • There are no boundaries, we always find a way. He lights up a room when he makes an entrance, and his laugh is contagious. Kiel is not the wheelchair, and the wheelchair isn’t Kiel. When you look at him, or even us as a couple I want you to see him for what he is, and not what he is sitting in. This campaign #ReeveSeeUs is knocking down the barriers that have been put up in the past about those with paralysis. I challenge you to click on the hashtag and read the stories of those who want to be seen for who they are.
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- What is your primary relationship to paralysis?
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