Grant Recipients

The Wheels With Wings Quality of Life Grant Program awards grants to individuals in need, helping them to gain back their confidence and truly Rise Above their spinal cord injuries. Read some of their stories below to see how we have already helped so many.

    Alex Breddy

  • Suffered a Spinal cord infarction which is a stroke either within the spinal cord or the arteries that supply it resulting in paralysis from his neck down.

  • Alex was a ninth grade honor student playing the cello and youth hockey with lots of friends and very active in school activities.

  • Wheels With Wings Foundation awarded Alex a grant to make modifications to his home so that he could get his shower chair into the bathroom for his showers.

     Morgan Waite

  • Suffered a spinal cord injury in a diving accident leaving her a quadriplegic.

  • Morgan was an executive chef. She sustained her injury in a diving accident.

  • Morgan’s insurance would not cover her shower chair so she was confined to bed bathing for her personal hygiene.

  • Wheels With Wings Foundation awarded Morgan a shower chair so she could shower in the privacy of her bathroom.

  • “Thank you so much! I am very excited about my new shower chair! We have been bed bathing for the past 4 months since coming home to NY from acute rehab. Having this chair will enable me to have a safe and clean routine greatly benefitting my health and my life. This is a picture of me doing a “dry run” in our existing shower! We weren’t sure how it was all going to fit, but it worked out great! Thank you again for the kindness and generosity you have bestowed upon me.”

     Amy Morgan

  • Injured in a motor vehicle accident in 1993, Amy broke her back at T6 causing a spinal cord injury resulting in paraplegia.

  • Amy was unable to take herself to doctor appointments, see family, or just go for a ride to the park on her own.

  • Wheels With Wings awarded Amy a grant to help her purchase a handicap accessible van.

  • “I want to thank Wheels With Wings for helping me get my accessible van. Now I’ve gained independence that I didn't even know I was missing.”

     Ryan Porteous

  • In 2011, when Ryan was 18 years old he broke his neck in a freak accident in which he slipped on a boat dock and clipped his head on the end of the dock. He suffered a spinal cord injury at C6 & became partially paralyzed from the neck down.

  • After graduating from High School in 2011, second in his class and Male Athlete of the Year, he went to UC Santa Barbara to pursue a degree in physics. He planned to compete on the surf team, which is one of the top ranked teams nationally, and also was considering trying out for the triathlon team.

  • Wheels With Wings awarded Ryan a grant to receive a new wheelchair he desperately needed to live a more active lifestyle that he once did.

  • “Thank you Wheels with Wings Foundation for helping me get a new wheelchair that is allowing me to be more independent and live a healthy and active lifestyle.”

     Nicole Antil

  • In 2003 Niki broke her neck as a passenger in car accident which caused a spinal cord injury at C6 resulting in quadriplegia.

  • Since then she has worked hard & done her best to stay active and healthy, but without the right kind of equipment or therapy, keeping her legs moving has not been
    an easy task.

  • Wheels With Wings awarded Niki with a grant for a FES (Functional Electric Stimulation) bike. This bike provides stimulation to the muscles as you peddle, strengthening muscles & preventing further atrophy.

  • "Thanks to the grant received from Wheels With Wings, I get to keep my legs moving! I have more energy, my spasms are less frequent, and my transfers are easier.
    It's an amazing feeling!”

     Sean Goral

  • Sean is currently 24 years old & was a passenger in a motor vehicle accident in June, 2013. The accident broke 6 of his cervical vertebrae causing him to have C5 quadriplegia.

  • Before Sean’s accident he loved to skateboard, surf, run and enjoy the outdoors in general. This injury has taken away a lot of his basic mobility and independence.

  • The Wheels With Wings foundation has helped Sean by giving a quality of life grant which he used for an exercise based therapy program that is not covered by insurance.

  • This grant meant a lot to Sean because it enabled him to do aggressive therapy that helped strengthen muscle groups that are needed for him to become more independent doing basic daily tasks & also helped build & improve self confidence.

  • “I truly miss so many simple things that the average person takes for granted everyday. I miss getting out of bed easily, grabbing a shower on my own, or jumping in my car for a nice drive. Wheels with Wings has helped me tremendously! I appreciate everything that the Wheels with Wings Foundation has done for me.
    Thank you!”

     Justin Lake

  • As Justin was sitting in a parked car in Tobago, a drunk driver ran off the road and hit the back of the car where he was sitting at about 80 mph. The impact broke his C5, C6, C7, T1 & T3 vertebrae.

  • Since his accident happened out of country, Justin was unable to receive compensation like he would have if he was in the United States.

  • Wheels With Wings awarded Justin with a Quality of Life Grant to participate in an intense specialized therapy program in Atlanta, Georgia.

  • “This donation was a huge blessing to my family and myself which has allowed me to participate in months of specialized exercise programs for spinal cord rehabilitation. I have gotten much stronger and healthier because of the Wheels with Wings Foundation, enabling me to financially participate in an advanced recovery program. My family and I are forever grateful for your generosity and huge hearts that have helped me improve the quality of my life. May God bless all your future endeavors.”

     Breezy Barkley

  • Just two months after Breezy’s 23rd birthday she was the passenger in a minor car accident that dislocated her neck which left her a quadriplegic requiring a neck fusion from c/5-c/7.

  • Breezy was very active in physical fitness prior to her injury. That athletic drive motivated her to work very hard with PT and OT & she continued to improve, gaining the ability to walk with the assistance of a walker, crutches &
    transitioning to canes.

  • Unfortunately, after leaving therapy one day, she was a passenger in a second auto accident that set her back to being in a wheelchair. Since then she has been fighting again to get back on her feet, ditch the wheelchair, progress to a walker, crutches & canes full time, furthering independence and mobility in order to return to school..

  • Wheels With Wings decided to help Breezy get back on her feet by giving her a grant to do intense specialized therapy in Atlanta, Georgia.

  • “Because of Natalie’s huge heart and vision to start a foundation to help others recovering from a spinal cord injury, I am honored to be a recipient. I am excited to get back into therapy and make anyone who has volunteered, donated or in any way helped to make the Wheels with Wings Foundation possible, proud of me and proud of what this organization can do for others with a spinal cord injury. Thank you to everyone who has made this
    opportunity possible.”

Brian Weber

Home Modification/Remodeling & Stander
Award recipient Brian Weber, was rewarded $5,000 to help with home modifications, remodeling costs and a special piece of medical equipment called an EasyStand Evolv Stander (similar to the one shown at left).

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