Talk about ‘new year, new me’ inspiration! 💪🏽
In 1992, Gabriel Cordell‘s life changed forever. On his way to an audition, an oncoming car ran a red light and T-boned his, ejecting him into a light post. Though he lived through the horrific accident, his spine was shattered leaving him paralyzed from the chest down.
Cordell’s dream to become an actor took a major setback after his injury. Though he managed to book a handful of jobs, Hollywood’s lack of opportunity for the disabled made it difficult for him to make a living. Cordell soon found himself battling an addiction to drugs, ultimately steering him further away from his childhood dreams. It took nearly 25 years before Cordell eventually became sober at the age of 42.
Gabriel’s sobriety led him to discover a new life goal: he decided that his inability to walk would no longer hold him back from accomplishing something big in the world. In a quest for redemption, the idea of Cordell wheeling his old-school, manual wheelchair across the U.S came into fruition.
As you could imagine, the journey was no easy task. The trip lasted three months long and he had to rally up a crew that was willing to work prolonged hours for free. Filmmaker Lisa France heard of Gabriel Cordell’s uplifting story and scraped-together a budget that would allow her to embark on this journey as well as recover from giving up on a filmmaking career herself.