Mark was born and raised in Bronson, Michigan but has called Bryan, Ohio home for the past six 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 all types of disabilities.

Mark quickly resonated with our mission and adopted our culture – his journey back to independence began.

The Ability Center’s (ACT) mission is to assist people with disabilities to live, work, and socialize within a fully accessible community. For Mark, we are helping to do just that.

“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” says Mark.

By trade, he is a steel worker and an avid outdoorsman.

Exploring water and woods are his true passions.

Mark reveals, “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.”

He leans on his roommates for support. “As far as my support system goes, most of the friends I've made since moving here are still a part of my life and try to be there for me as much as their lives permit.

I have a couple great roommates that I had before my accident and they both have been a huge help to me!” Mark values health and wellness, sharing, “I’m interested in fitness, especially now that exercise is so important! I plan on getting a membership at the Y soon.”

We are 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.

Everything from advocacy to recreational opportunities, our agency is there from square one, allowing individuals to 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.”

Mark credits ACT for the gift of home accessibility, “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.”

Changing the face of disability, Mark attributes his positive attitude for his successful recovery. Mark says, “I know sometimes you need help from others, The Ability Center has been such a huge help with everything I've needed to adapt my life around this injury. I really can't thank you guys enough.”