Mark was born and raised in Bronson, Michigan but has called Bryan, Ohio home for many years. It was the summer of 2016 when Mark suffered an injury due to a motorcycle accident that left him paralyzed. He wasn’t familiar with Ability Center programming, but soon discovered all that our organization has to offer those with different types of disabilities.
Mark quickly resonated with our mission, adopted our culture, and began his journey to reclaiming his independence. “Before my accident I had never heard of The Ability Center because I was a young healthy working man. In the last year, I've learned to make the best of everything that happens in life. I have discovered this is the best attitude to have,” shares Mark.
By trade, he is a steel worker and an avid outdoorsman. It is important to Mark to continue doing what he loves revealing, “My interest right now would have to be learning how I can get back to the things I love and figuring out how I can overcome the obstacles that I'm faced with. I’m interested in fitness, especially now that exercise is so important! I plan on getting a membership at the Y soon.”
The Ability Center is reopening doors to opportunities that he thought wouldn’t open again. Through the Path to Empowerment Grant, funded by the National Council on Independent Living, equipment was provided to Mark including a bed, trapeze, and a permanent wooden ramp at no cost to him.
Access to this equipment is giving Mark the capability to come and go as he pleases and move around his home safely. Through the grant that financially supports individuals with spinal cord injuries, we are tapping into multiple ACT programs. From advocacy to recreational opportunities, our agency is there from step one, helping individuals create their own path to independence.
Mark shares, “I really cannot say enough good things about my experience so far with the people of The Ability Center. Everyone I have talked to seems to really care about making a difference in my life for a better tomorrow. It doesn’t get easier, you get stronger. The biggest change in my life would be my independence. Being able to easily get in and out of my home from the new ramp build is priceless.”