Wheelchair racing gives Kentucky man new perspective on life

A car accident left Josh Heine paralyzed at 18. Doctors said he’d never walk again, let alone wheel himself around, but he muscles up the strength to keep going and regain control of his life.

"I use to think about it all the time, why I’m in a wheelchair, but now I just don’t care anymore," says Heine.

It’s because he found a new passion in wheelchair racing.

"It gives you purpose," says Hein.

However, the chair he was competing in caused his hands to blister and bleed. So friends, like Jon Deaton, banded together and bought Hein a new one.

"A wheelchair that would do more than just give him an opportunity to race, but would really open his eyes to what more was out there," says Deaton.

Right now, it’s the off-season so Hein hasn’t competed in his new chair, but nearly every day you’ll find him at the gym training for the next race.

"I want to win the race," says Hein. "I don’t want to just finish the race, I want my name to be plastered on everything, going ‘This guy won and he’s a quadriplegic.’"

He says he wants to share the feeling with other people who are paralyzed. So, he and Deaton co-founded a new organization in Paducah called Heine Wheelchair Racing. Their goal is to get people out of their standard wheelchairs and into ones they can race with.

"Look at me. If I can do it, you can do it," says Josh.

Heine Wheelchair Racing is a small business start up and it needs your help. The organization is looking for corporate sponsors to put on the first ever wheelchair race in Paducah.

To learn how you can get involved, click here.

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