Movies about disabilities can not only be a great window into the lives of many people in our diverse society, but they can also be a wonderful source of inspiration. These films often display a dynamic combination of courage, determination, and characters who strive to achieve their goals despite adversity.
My name is Matt Feeney and I am the cofounder of Adaptive Adventures. In 1988, I suffered a spinal cord injury that left me paralysed from the mid-abdomen down. First and foremost, I am a survivor. Despite my disability, I have become a certified water and snow ski instructor, a decorated hand cyclist and a two-time off-road downhill champion. My dream was, and still is, to inspire others like me to embrace their disability and to enjoy the benefits of outdoor sports for mental and physical wellbeing. One of my proudest moments was being named Colorado’s Adaptive Athletes of the Year.
Wheelchair basketball – widely regarded as one of the most beneficial recreational activities for people with disabilities – is quickly becoming one of the world’s most popular adapted sport. The adapted sport’s popularity is supported by the fact that 75 countries have now established dedicated wheelchair basketball leagues and competitions.
How would you react if I told you that I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, while confined to a wheelchair? I wouldn’t be surprised if you doubted or even disbelieved my claim. I don’t judge or blame you for these doubts. In fact, if you’d asked me if I could accomplish such a feat 5 years ago, I would have told you that it would be impossible with my physical disability – a genetic ailment that left me with no legs below the pelvis.