What does it mean to be a “Hero”? Is it the guy that you see on your movie screen, comic book or the athlete that blows the crowd away? Or is it someone who overcomes the odds, or hardships that they are dealt with in their lives.
Say hello to Justin, as I am sure you can see. Justin is in a wheel chair.
A result of a tragic accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down, Justin never gave up on himself or being able to continue his passion for cars.
This is how he got a hold of this 2007 Dodge Caravan. Originally it was just supposed to just be his transport vehicle, but as you can see he would not be seen in a plain old van.
He purchased the van brand new on January 3rd, 2008 from a mobility dealership in Richmond, Va (Ride-Away Handicapped Vehicles http://www.rideaway.com ).
The hand controls were installed by EMC out of Augusta, Maine. The lowered floor conversion was installed by Braun out of Winimac, Indiana.
The goal for this vehicle was to place the 1st customized disabled driver,
fully accessible vehicle into the SEMA Show. This will give motivation to those
with any disability, that no matter what life throws at you,
do not give up and to follow your dreams.
THE BACK STORY
“11 yrs ago I broke my neck in 3 places due to a car accident (which is why I have the van) and the doctor’s told me I’d never be able to do anything again. I know a lot of people in my situation and aren’t in my situation who just give up. To top it off less than a year ago this same van was involved in an accident and was considered a total loss. Like I said “I DO NOT GIVE UP” and I had the entire vehicle rebuilt which took about 3 months. “
Justin wants to thank First and foremost, God. Mike and Monkey Snyder from Master Automotive and Precision Auto Body & Transmission out of Aylett, Va for rebuilding the ride. Bobby Massey from Superior Auto Works LLC out of Richmond, Va for wheels, tires, and bagging it. Brad New comb from Stiches out of Aylett, Va for installing the soft suede and leather interior. Keith Bray from Fibrenew out of Hanover, Va for custom door panels. Dystany Spurlock, she knows why. Fred Sicoli from Killer Kreations Art Studio in Philadelphia, Pa for creating a “killer” paint job that will be unveiled at SEMA this year. Demond Benton of DDM Photography (www.ddm-photography.com) out of Manassas, Va for the top notch photos.
Accuair Suspensions, Airbagit.com, Borla Performance Exhaust, Billet Technology, Fibrenew, K&N Filters, Killer Kreations Art Studio, JL Audio, Mothers Polishes & Waxes, Odyssey Battery, and PIAA Corporation. Family, supporters, and everyone supporting my dream.
Most people see a wheelchair and think 1 thing, and that’s sorrow. Life isn’t over. Life actually becomes fun. You learn to live, love, have fun, and most importantly fight. Fight for the recognition that that no matter what life throws at you, don’t adjust yourself to that, live as you would normally and make life adjust to you.
Photos: DDM Photography
Words: Brent Cohen