Shad's Open Road
Freedom in the Water (0:27)
Doesn't Feel Like Work (0:56)
Push for Independence (0:26)
State of Mind (0:23)
Newport Beach, CA
Founder / CEO
Pushing 4 Independence
active, challenges, freedom, happiness, healing, helping others, injury, obstacles, perspective, positive energy, positivity, purpose, sports, uncertainty
- As a young man, his plan was always to work in construction.
- But after an accident in high school left him paralyzed from the waist down, he struggled to figure out what his next career path would be.
- He’d always enjoyed water sports and activities, and even after his accident, he often stayed active by going fishing with friends.
- One day, one of his friends spotted a paraplegic man using a special paddleboard to catch waves in a local harbor.
- Within hours, Shad was on the scene, cruising around the harbor for the first time in years on the wheelchair-accessible paddleboard.
- After feeling the joy of being back out on the water, he knew he’d found his new purpose; he wanted to enable other disabled people to experience that same joy.
- He founded Pushing 4 Independence, a nonprofit that gets disabled people back out on the water with the aid of custom-built paddleboards and surfboards.
- Says that finding a community of people similar to him helped him finally face his disability head-on.