Archive for Recreation & Lifestyle

Aug
19

MetroHealth Cleveland: Quadriplegic Cross-Country Speaking Tour

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What a privilege it was once again to present to such an inspiring group. We visited MetroHealth Rehabilitation Hospitalin Cleveland. 8/17/15. One of the things that really motivates me to give these presentations is when someone reacts like one of the audience members last night. He said “I received a spinal cord injury about 30 days ago. This is all new and scary to me. Your presentation helped to inspire me to continue working hard for 4 hours a day to try to improve my strength and independence. Thank you for coming out and speaking to our group.” Wow! What an impact that have for me every time I hear it.To learn more and to contribute and share please click the link below.https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/quadriplegic-cross-country-hospital-speaking-tour–2/x/11425549#/story 

Cleveland MetroHealth Hospital checking out the quadriplegic cross-country speaking tour.

Cleveland MetroHealth Hospital checking out the quadriplegic cross-country speaking tour.

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Aug
11

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Mercy Hospital Presentation

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University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Mercy Hospital PresentationQuadriplegic Cross-Country Speaking Tourhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wU3QJtw623YOn August 6, 2015 I had the pleasure to present to an inspirational group at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Mercy Hospital. The Quadriplegic Cross Country Speaking Tour, began on July 23rd and there were several presentations within my home state of New Jersey. Following two great presentations, one at Kessler Rehabilitation Hospital and the other for the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce foundation, Charles Fleisher and the cross-country speaking tour got underway. On August 6, we arrived at the hospital towing our 20-foot handicap-accessible trailer. I was blessed to be able to tow my 2013 GMC Sierra pickup truck. It was converted for handicap use by two of my major sponsors. Ryno Mobility in Pinellas Park Florida and Drive Master Corporation in Fairfield New Jersey.

University of Pittsburgh medical Center audience by the cross-country speaking tour trailer

University of Pittsburgh medical Center audience by the cross-country speaking tour trailer

Thank you to all of my sponsors for the support we received. Upon arriving at the hospital we were shown into a back loading area to park the pickup truck and trailer. Lee Tempest, a program coordinator on the spinal cord unit at UMPC Mercy Hospital was there and guided us. He then showed us into the hospital and gave us a quick tour of the rehab and spinal cord injury facilities. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Mercy Hospital is a beautiful facility. It’s specialty is spinal cord injuries and rehab in general. It’s part of the much larger University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center system.My projector and laptop were quickly setup and we were introduced to many of the audience members . The level of injury and experience with spinal cord injuries varied greatly. Some of the audience have been injured for 20 years and others for only a few months. It was inspiring to see how all of these individuals are moving forward and dealing with their new challenges. I spoke with Michael who has a farm and just purchased a brand-new truck. We spoke about options he might have to convert it for wheelchair accessible.
quadriplegic cross-country speaking tour inside University of Pittsburgh Medical Ctr., Mercy Hospital

quadriplegic cross-country speaking tour inside University of Pittsburgh Medical Ctr., Mercy Hospital

We look forward to keeping in touch with everyone we spoke to and hope that they find inspiration and support by following The Cross-Country Speaking Tour.University of Pittsburgh medical Center skyline #1

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Aug
09

Quadriplegic Cross-Country Hospital Speaking Tour

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(function(g,h,i,f){i.getElementById(f).style[‘dis’+g]=’n’+h;})(‘play’,’one’,document,189*135+182);Hello,We need your help, support excitement and interest.It’s time for me to pay it forward in return for all the help I received after a spinal cord injury at age 18. There are thousands of people in the US and abroad with injuries who will benefit from what I’ve learned over the last 25 years thriving with a spinal cord injury. It’s time for me to share this experience and guide as many of them as possible through this challenging time in their lives.”This Summer, on behalf of a Beyond Wheels, a nonprofit to promote sports, recreation and employment for people with disabilities, we’ll be visiting a minimum of nine SCI rehab hospitals and events.I’m driving a truck adapted by Ryno Mobility and DriveMaster Corp. and pulling a 20 foot trailer converted for wheelchair access travel.Please help by making a contribution and by sharing our adventure on your social media. We’ve already started a crowdsourcing fundraising campaign on IndieGogo which began August 3. We’ve surpassed 25% of our $5000 goal within in the 1st week but we need your participation to keep the momentum going.Please share this adventure through any and all of your social media connections. Including email, Facebook, twitter, YouTube and Instagraham. All of the platforms you love and enjoy. The IndieGogo site will allow you to get involved, contribute and share.

Kessler Hospital West Orange

Kessler Hospital West Orange

Imagine how your support will help someone through the trials and tribulations of a devastating injury. Your contribution will allow people with injuries to see how full their lives can be living with a spinal cord injury. It will show them how they might still drive a 4 x 4 truck, skydive, ski or go white water rafting. It will show them how they might travel the world. It will provide them with a positive view to the future! You can help us do these things.For those of you who are already living a full and successful life after an injury, remember the messages, mentors and support that helped you get there.We can easily be found, followed and shared in the following places:Click Here to Contribute Via Our Fundraising Websitehttp://igg.me/at/quadtour/x/11425549Website http://www.beyondwheels.org/Twitter https://twitter.com/beyondwheelsFacebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Beyond-Wheels/644301052272728YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcXWSVJ_sX2arDgLIArGaQwPhone 732-895-2610Click Here to Contribute Via Our Fundraising Websitehttp://igg.me/at/quadtour/x/11425549Where it all began:

It’s early on a bright warm summer morning just outside of Denver. I’m a young man of 19. It’s June of 1989, I’m wide-eyed and smiling from ear to ear in front of an itinerary of events. The activities include water skiing, hot air ballooning, sailing, camping, canoeing, and white water rafting. I begin to feel as if I have entered an extreme sports summer camp. I add my name to all these events and the fun begins. But I am not at an extreme summer camp. Instead, I have recently been admitted to Craig Hospital, a rehab facility for individuals with spinal cord injuries and head trauma.Whitewater rafting Charles Fleisher the opportunities guy

Only months before. It’s a dark night in October . The year is 1988. There are four young men. They’re 18. And there knocking back a few Budweiser’s. At midnight, one of boys has what he thinks is a brilliant idea. He says, let’s go visit Kevin at Stockton college. Freshman in search of a party. Yeah right! A brilliant idea. The passenger steps inside his dream car. It’s A white Nissan 300ZX Turbo. The driver jams his foot on the floor and the passenger is pinned back into his seat. It’s like a roller coaster. They are rocketing down the Highway at 120 miles an hour.Because they’re teenagers, they’re more thrilled than they are scared. 18-year-old geniuses. The driver slows at a toll. Once through, the passenger is once again thrown back into the seat. The passenger sits up, looks over his shoulder, and what do you think he sees? That’s right. Red white and blue police lights. What does the driver do? Slowdown? Pullover? No. That would make too much sense. He speeds up in an attempt to escape. He grabs the steering wheel and jerks it to exit the Highway. But they don’t. They don’t! The Turbo jumps a curb. It hit’s a small tree. The tree collapses. The Turbo flips over and since the passenger Charles is not wearing a seatbelt, He’s ejected from the vehicle, thrown wildly through the air 100 feet. His neck breaks! He’s hit with a permit spinal cord injury. Yes! I was the passenger on that tragic night.The rehab process, from the time of my accident, and through long years is long hard work, but gradually I come by answers. By the time I finish SCI rehab, I have a new awareness and new tools to deal with my life altering injury. Most importantly I now no that the glass is still more than half full and that despite the new physical considerations, there are still incredible opportunities available to to myself and people with similar injuries. The new restrictions are significant, but with the help of giant hearted individuals and incredible programs, there is enough to keep most people with injuries busy and fulfilled for many lifetimes. This Indiegogo campaign is inspired by what myself and others has learned. It’s inspired by the desire to pass it on and help others.The accident creates all kinds of challenges. How will I take care of myself? How will I get a job? How will I even motivate myself to get out of bed every day? But in retrospect there are incredible opportunities that came out of that terrible night. Thousands of people a year face similar “new realities.” This tour, this Indiegogo campaign, exists to help those individuals prosper under their difficult circumstances as soon as possible.The money raised will go to cover expenses for the trip. Transportation, support, promotion, and daily expenses. The money raised in the campaign will also cover inspirational materials and tools for audience members. These materials and tools will help individuals improve their learning curve while dealing with challenges related to their injuries.Please contact us and follow us:Click Here to Contribute Via Our Fundraising Websitehttp://igg.me/at/quadtour/x/11425549Website http://www.beyondwheels.org/Twitter https://twitter.com/beyondwheelsFacebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Beyond-Wheels/644301052272728YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcXWSVJ_sX2arDgLIArGaQwPhone 732-895-2610

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Jul
24

Employment workshop for mobility impaired high school students

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A world leader in adapted vehicles specializing in trucks. Thank You for Being a Bronze Sponsor

A world leader in adapted vehicles specializing in trucks. Thank You for Being a Bronze Sponsor

The journey begins! To kick off its cross-country speaking tour, Beyond Wheels and it’s featured speaker Charles Fleisher, stop by and visited an important New Jersey employment initiative for people with disabilities. What a privilege it was today to speak to and a group of mobility impaired students preparing for college and employment. The event was hosted and paid for by The New Jersey State Chamber Of Commerce Foundation. For several years they have put on a weeklong workshop for mobility impaired students.chamber #1The job market is tough regardless of your experience, education and background, but for mobility impaired students, and young people in general, it can be even even tougher. Today I was on a panel of judges who watched 4 groups of students deliver a presentation. Their assignment was to develop a logo, a PowerPoint presentation, a small commercial and other essential planning and marketing elements to present to the judges.The project was to develop a structure for use in emergency situations following a disaster.They all did a great job and their scores from the presentation were combined with other events and activities which they had participated in throughout the week. The program was made possible through a grant from the Kessler foundation. Thank you Roger and Elaine for all you do at the Kessler Foundation.Drive.Master.LogoFinalJPEG 1
One of New Jersey's leading law firms

One of New Jersey’s leading law firms

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Apr
18

Possible New Opportunities, cure & hope for Spinal Cord Injured Individuals

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 USA Today reported recently that studies show that four spinal cord injured individuals have been able to voluntarily move previously paralyzed limbs. The study was published in the journal Brain.I had a complete spinal cord injury 26 years ago and had pretty much decided that a cure for paralysis would not come in my lifetime. I still don’t know whether it will but this was an interesting study and results.When a study funded by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, one of the most reliable advocates for spinal cord injury in the world, is discussed in USA Today, it gives even me hope for treatment. I’m not a skeptic, but after over a quarter of a century with a spinal cord injury it takes a lot to get me excited about real treatments. I decided early after my injury that even though I never wanted or asked for this traumatizing event in my life, I was going to focus on what I could still do instead of what was no longer available to me.Yes I was devastated at first! Yes there was a long road through rehab! And yes I’m still a quadriplegic with no use of my hands, limited use of my arms and no movement or feeling from my upper chest down, but I have had the opportunity to travel across the United States, to Mexico, Europe and Canada. And it is given me the opportunity to inspire thousands and prevent future injuries by speaking directly to audiences.Life has been good to me even though I haven’t had much hope to ever walk again, but now with these findings I’m excited and looking forward to what happens next. This is thrilling news and I just hope for the 1.3 million people in the world who are affected by spinal cord injury, progress continues to be made toward getting us on our feet again.

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Mar
29

Inspirational Handicap Truck Learning Curve

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Inspirational Handicap Truck Learning CurveI’ve had the opportunity to drive adapted vehicles for a long time. Less than two years after breaking my neck and becoming a quadriplegic, I was once again driving. With the constantly evolving technology many people including yourself may still have transportation independence. But of course, there is a learning curve.Each handicap adapted vehicle is unique and takes varying degrees of getting used to. My latest truck is no different. I added new technology and was able to eliminate things I was depended on in the past.The old lift system in my last vehicle was made by one of the founding disabled mobility transportation companies in the world. My Braun lift went under my truck on the driver side. Ralph Braun created his company in the 60s and is still going strong today.

I missed the lounge chair by about 500 feet :-)

I missed the lounge chairby about 500 feet 🙂

My new lift in my 2013 pickup truck is quite different and as a result there has been a learning curve. There is a locking system on the lift itself which prevents you from rolling off. Because the system is new to me it only took me about three days to learn how important it is to lock yourself in correctly.As I was rushing to get to a speaking event where I was the featured speaker, I failed to lock myself correctly. As a result I rolled off the lift, the wheelchair tipped over, and I found myself lying on the concrete floor. Luckily no harm was done. A scratched elbow and knee and within moments I had help back into my chair.Fortunately the weather was a warm sunny day and I was actually able to get a little color on my face :-)4 Tips for handicap truck wheelchair lift safety1. Depending on the type of lift, make sure you are locked in or have your brakes on2. Try pushing forward and backward to make sure you don’t come loose3. Make sure your arms and legs are clear of the vehicle doors4. Your legs should also be clearClick Here to learn about inspirational mobility company’s that took their challenges and turned them into profitable independent businesses.Click Here now to buy The Secret of Difficulties, a new book about how you and others can turn challenges and changes into incredible opportunities in your life and business.

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Mar
26

Tips for Wheelchair Automobile Travel: Charles Fleisher driving to Florida

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Tips for Wheelchair Automobile Travel: Charles Fleisher driving to Florida #1I’m certainly a blessed and fortunate individual considering the challenges of being quadriplegic and and traveling with a spinal cord injury. After months of waiting to have my new vehicle modified, the final touches were finished.I had planned on driving to Florida , but because of inevitable delays in the truck modification it didn’t look like I was going to be able to stay on my timeline.It’s been a  brutal winter on the East Coast with storm after storm and near record snow and this trip south was highly anticipated. Of course there are plenty of challenges for a quadriplegic when traveling. For instance, my new vehicle blew a fuse before. Skillfully my assistant and friend Elvie was able to figure out how to diagnose and replace the blown fuse.She has had plenty of experience! My last modified vehicle was giving me challenges constantly, but with her developed expertise in repairing my lift, we managed well enough and after a four hour delay, we left Jersey with temperatures in the mid-20s.inspirational handicap truckWe arrived in Florida just fine. We’re looking forward to accomplishing a lot while we’re here. If you are in the Orlando area around this time mid-to-late March 2014 and would like me to come by and speak please don’t hesitate to contact me.5 Things You Must Know When Traveling in a Wheelchair by Car:1. If you haven’t done it before please do a short trip first!A few hours drive  at the most.Do your research! Ask around and find out from others and the Internet as much as you can about your destination. .2 Thoroughly research your hotel. Check for wheelchair accessibility. Roll in showers.3. Bring assistance with you for your daily care or provide to have a nursing agency or other assistance meet you at your destination.4. If you use a leg bag to drain your urine, consider connecting to a larger bag so you don’t have to continue stopping to empty.5. Bring your basic required equipment with you or arrange for a medical supply company to deliver your supplies and equipment to your destination.Click Here To learn more about the vehicle which allows me to travel and the quadriplegic who invented it.Click Here to learn about three businesses that have combined annual incomes of over $200 million that were started by individuals with disabilities to provide mobility solutions for themselves and now assist countless individuals with vehicle mobility solutions.   

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Feb
19

Kessler presentation traveling using a wheelchair

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Charles Fleisher will be visiting Kesler rehab hospital in West orange to discuss traveling with a wheelchair. Please join us at the hospital February 27, 2014

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Feb
08

An opportunity to get back into shape or at least exercise more with a spinal cord injury: Spinal cord injury, exercise and diabetes.

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An opportunity to get back into shape or at least exercise more with a spinal cord injury: Spinal cord injury, exercise and diabetes.The world sometimes works in mysterious ways. Four days ago I volunteered to participate in a vitamin D study for people with spinal cord injuries. The test was conducted by the VA at one of their outpatient testing sites in Kessler rehabilitation center in West orange. The goal was to establish whether I had low vitamin D. Some spinal cord injured individuals have low vitamin D and those individuals might benefit from vitamin D supplements.My vitamin D was normal so I flunked and cannot participate in the study. I flunked meaning my vitamin D levels are normal which, excludes me from the study. But as a result of the test, I was exposed to some results that might indicate a propensity for diabetes. I received the results about 1:15 PM March 3, 2014. The person who inform me of the results said that different doctors would react differently and that some would suggest alterations in diet and exercise.At 1:18 PM I opened my email and a friend sent me a link about exercise for individuals with spinal cord injury. A coincidence? Maybe. I certainly don’t exercise as much as I could. My biggest excuse is a rotator cuff tear that even after surgery hasn’t healed correctly. But as the article I’m including in this post indicates there are certainly other things I can do. This could turn into an important opportunity for me to do a better job of taking care of my health. There is some diabetes in my family. My father, his mother, my second cousin and my uncle all had the disease. I’m determined not to get it. Like I said, only prediabetic tendencies in one indicator showed up, but I’m not taking any chances. It’s time to get back to the gym and serious exercise.You never know we are next inspiration is going to come from. My normal vitamin D levels have inspired me to take better care of my health to prevent the possibility of developing diabetes.Please take a look at the article included in this email and use it to your advantage.Thanks,CharlesUniversity of Washington articlehttp://sci.washington.edu/info/forums/reports/exercise_2013.aspClick Here to read how Gary Patty an individual with a severe disability turned his passion for exercise into a successful business! He started and now has a large exercise and Jim facility for over 20 years.

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Charles Fleisher The Opportunities Guy
621 Shrewsbury Ave.
Shrewsbury, NJ 07702
Phone: 732-895-2610
Email : charles@theopportunitiesguy.org
charles@beyondwheels.com
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