Life After Limb • Gabe Goreham
Hi - I'm Gabe Goreham.
At age 19, I lost control of a motorcycle and was hit hard by a highway truck. I lost both of my legs above the knees on the road that day, and more than 70% of my blood from injuries.
Watch my story in this video:
It had to be a miracle kept me here through the impact and first life-and-death days. I remember the powerful moment something in me chose to turn back from the edge of death.
So I thought staying alive through my accident, infections, pain and countless surgeries was the big challenge, and I'd made it! I knew God kept me alive for a reason! But I struggled to get into life without legs.
What I know now is that surviving my accident was really just the beginning of a deeper healing journey...
(I share my story in the video above. Definitely take a look!)
Why this campaign now?
Many people have been kind and generous to me in so many ways since my accident. I'm sure the love, care, support and prayers are a big reason I'm here today!
But to be honest, fear and depression still clouded my heart for a quite a while. I wasn't getting over the shock of what happened and what I lost. I couldn't let in the love, blessings and opportunities coming my way. I hid away, using substances and all kinds of ways to avoid my pain.
I'm so happy to say, I got some deep healing! Now I'm in a whole new place. It's like a fresh new world's opening up for me! I'm deeply excitement about life every day, grateful every morning I wake up alive! I love connecting with people and make the most of all I am blessed to still have.
I'm able to make FULL use of ANY support that comes my way now. I try to take every step I can to move forward and help others too, every day.
A wonderful supporter from my gym convinced me to put up this campaign. So here it is!
How will your contribution help?
• Help Me Function Independently
I'm excited to move back to California soon to help plant and grow a new church. Driving independently will make this possible! I want to attend church meet ups, volunteer in mentoring programs and start looking for work under my own steam. With hand controls and either prosthetics or a wheelchair that breaks down into pieces, I can get in and out of a car and drive on my own.
ALL CONTRIBUTIONS will go first toward a reliable SUV that's big enough to carry my wheelchairs, prosthetic legs, groceries, a friend or two – and hopefully some adaptive extreme sports equipment, too.
The newer the vehicle, the longer I can get value out of the adaptations that will make a car drivable without feet or legs–mainly handcontrols. (This is the main reason my goal is set at $30,000.)
• Keep Me Moving Forward
A lot of resources go into keeping me walking and rolling forward (aka - living a life without limbs!)
• Gym Fees - Working out in an accessible gym and positive community is a huge blessing for me. It helps me find my health and happiness over and over again! >>UPDATE 4/18/14 – GREAT News! - HealthQuest Fitness offered me a complimentary gym membership! The owners said they wanted to thank me for my testimonial about how having a supportive community and being able to work out has helped me face my challenges. So grateful to HealthQuest! (Read here: http://healthquest-fitness.com/testimonials/gabe-goreham/)
• Medical Expenses - Walking on prosthetic takes constant medical adjustment, repair and equipment replacement. All this costs money! My wheelchairs need to be repaired and replaced routinely, so I can keep getting around. Any help toward these high costs would be amazing!
• Make My Dreams Come True
• Sports Equipment - Before my accident I was all about athletics. If possible I'd love to "ride the roads" again like I used to on a bicycle, especially with friends and family. A handcycle will need to be custom fit and balanced, and I'm hoping I'll get to try one someday. I also want to try legless-skiing, and hop on an ice-sled for disabled hockey. Usually sports equipment has to be custom fit to my different-shaped body, so I can't buy a used bike off Craigslist like most people can, for instance. The expenses are for real!
Whether you contribute dollars–or just your kind wishes and prayers–thank you so much for your interest and care.
I hope you enjoy the video of my story, and that it inspires you to never give up hope!
See you soon and GOD BLESS!
I'm Niika, Gabe's mom.
I wanted to share my own enormous gratitude for the incredible compassion, recognition and support people have shown toward Gabe and me, too, in so many different ways.
No single mom can do a great job as "an island." It really does take a village to support and encourage an emerging young man.
So, with my palms together, I honor you for stepping forward and participating in whatever way you have! Whether you made a donation, wrote a supportive email or letter, prayed for Gabe and/or for me, volunteered to help with building a wheelchair ramp, welcomed Gabe to church, did yoga with Gabe, sent over information you thought might be helpful, pitched in to help with driving, showed up as a friend when things weren't pretty – any and all of these things have made an important, cherished and always-to-be-remembered contribution to Gabe and to myself.
Perhaps the hardest part of accompanying Gabe on this long journey has been, at times, being the only other person walking along with him. There were certainly stretches when nearly no one could recommend how to help, or what to do.
I truly believe that appropriately "staying in the game" with Gabe even through the low and scary points, helped keep hope alive, and gave him the idea that there COULD be a path to walk back on, back into life and into loving relationship. Every time one of you recognized my efforts or tried to help in any form, it's always made a difference to restoring my energy and keeping ME moving forward as Gabe's journey continued.
I'm SO happy to say that with the money raised to date, Gabe's been able to purchase a vehicle from a friend! This is not only super-great for Gabe's independence and happiness, it's also giving me quite a lot of time back as I'll no longer spend up to 12 hours a week driving Gabe to medical appointments. He'll drive himself!!!
I'm looking forward to this next step, observing how Gabe's "Gabeness" is revealed, healthy and productive and more independent.
Gabe graduates from the second level of his discipleship program in just 2 days. He'll soon be writing updates, sending out thank yous and more. I know he's looking forward to connecting with everyone!
I'm so grateful to you all! And grateful for Grace!!
with vast appreciation,
Well, I've been pretty much away from social media and email for the last two weeks. But I'm SUPER EXCITED to have reached past the 50% mark toward the goal!
Time to celebrate!
To everyone who's contributed so far, I can't wait to get in touch with you to thank you and connect!
And a cool announcement - because I'll be back online over the weekend, I'm coming on FaceBook LIVE on Saturday morning at 10am (Eastern). I want to share a little more of my story. I could not find myself after my accident. But now, I feel like I found my true identity – and we all can, even when it seems like all is lost.
You're invited to join me on my FaceBook page on Saturday. Come hang out! Bring questions if you want. I'll be here: https://www.facebook.com/gabe.goreham
THANK YOU to EVERYONE.
More coming your way, soon!
Thank you for your support and encouragement!!
Well - things just keep getting better!
Besides transportation, one of the main things I'm hoping to raise $ for is gym fees. A gym membership can seem like a luxury, but in my case it's more essential than that.
Working out in an accessible gym and positive community has been super valuable for me to get through hard times and make get stronger in good times.
With the diversity of equipment at the gym, I can experience a freedom of movement that's not possible going through daily life. Working out my body in specific ways helps strengthen and protect my shoulders, wrists and arms, which now basically function as my legs. They have to take the weight of my whole body when I move in and out of my chair, or get myself in and out of prosthetics.
When I lift or carry something, I need to count on steady back, abs and arms, because the leg power I used to have isn't there.
Access to a good gym is so great for strengthening my body and my mind. Working out helps me find my health and happiness over and over again!
For the last year, I have been getting to the gym when possible as a guest on a day pass with my mom's help.
Recently, I was asked to give my testimonial about working out there, losing weight and getting back to walking. (Read here: http://healthquest-fitness.com/testimonials/gabe-goreham/)
When HealthQuest owners read my testimonial and saw my video, they called to offer me a complimentary gym membership! That is HUGE! The owners said they wanted to thank me for my testimonial.
Of course I am SUPER grateful to HealthQuest, and will make the most of this great opportunity while I am in New Jersey.
It was a wonderful friend on staff at HealthQuest who urged me to created this crowdfunding campaign.
It's amazing how people can make a big difference. Thank you to you all!
See you soon - Gabe