Learning to live again

After a fall from a balcony that left him a paraplegic, Greg Callen has found a passion in Move Along Inc., an organization aimed at getting himself and others back on track.

When Greg Callen fell from his friend’s 13-foot balcony in August 2005, his initial thoughts were those of panic, fear and terror.

As Callen crawled towards the road after the fall, all that ran through his mind was how life as he knew it was over.

He was right.

The impact from the fall was so great that it left Callen, 34, paralyzed from the waist down. Known as thoracic 12 complete paraplegia (T12), the injury affects the thoracic nerves in the body’s spinal cord, causing a complete loss of function in the legs.

A highly active and competitive individual throughout his life, Callen had to come to terms with the fact that he would never be able to walk again.

The time following his accident was an emotional roller coaster of intense depression, anger and reflection. With his whole world turned upside down from the accident, it was hard for Callen to even know where to begin to pick up the pieces of his life and start anew.

But there was a light at the end of those four long years of recovery. Something sparked a flame inside Callen: a feeling he hadn’t felt since before the fall.

While visiting a Go Kart track in the neighboring town of Lafayette, Callen begin to feel a love for life again. This was the beginning of a new direction in his life. It pointed towards helping others who found themselves in the same situation he had been in before the racetrack.

With support from his friends and family, Callen founded Move Along, Inc., an organization aimed at encouraging youth and adults to compete in athletics no matter their challenges in life.

By using Move Along, Inc. as the vehicle, Callen hopes that with this newfound passion he can help others discover that just because they are bound to a chair, doesn't mean they cannot enjoy life as they once had.

Greg Callen: A true inspiration to our family

I first met Greg as an undergraduate at the State University of New York college at Oswego. Immediately, I felt a bond with him. His charisma, positivity, and great sense of humor drew me to him. I cannot imagine what it is like to not have use of my legs. Greg is such an inspiration to millions of people around the world who suffer from, or know somebody who suffers from, T 12. I am currently trying to encourage our school district here in Rochester, New York to bring Greg into the schools to speak to our children. He would be a welcome addition to the guest lecture series that the RCSD funds yearly. We need more inspiration in our world, and Greg is doing his part to make that happen!

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