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David Kellam and CJ Bellamy are longtime friends who grew up dreaming of playing professional sports. But separate tragedies left them both paralyzed, and since, bonding over a shared set of circumstances. They share their stories on the 3rd hour of TODAY.
Two Orange County friends are changing lives for those with disabilities
Two Orange County friends are changing lives for those with disabilities.They're benefiting from a CrossFit gym for people in wheelchairs, thanks to a grant from Orlando Health.They're also spreading the word to others like them.C.J. Bellamy and David Kellam from Orlando were recently interviewed on The Today Show about how two friends in wheelchairs support each other.\"And being able to tell our story and spread awareness was great for us. Our story is pretty much never give up on yourself,\" Bellamy said.The two have known each other since middle school. They went on to play sports, and want to do it professionally.\"I was actually shot in 2006, just a drive-by shooting. I was out with my friends during Christmas,\" Bellamy said.Kellam suffered a spinal cord injury in a motorcycle accident.They were reunited at the Orlando Rehab Health Center and then the South Orange CrossFit Gym.Orlando Health developed a new program to train gym personnel to adapt workouts for those with spinal cord injuries, partnering with a CrossFit gym and training their coaches on their specific needs.It also helps with health issues.\"A lot of people don't (know) the biggest cause of death of a person in a wheelchair is heart disease, we don't exercise as much,\" Kellam said. \"It's definitely made me stronger, like I can bench press 400 pounds.\"The friends said it's all about focusing on the positive.\"Don't focus on the things you can't do, but focus on things you can do. That one thing will always be your strength,\" Kellam said.The hope is that other gyms will also implement programs like this with coaches to help people with spinal chord injuries.
WESH2 News. Jul 16, 2019.Friends overcome disabilities through fitness. https://www.wesh.com/article/friends-overcome-disabilities-through-fitness/28416043