Cross-country paraplegic aims to inspire others - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Cross-country paraplegic aims to inspire others

Posted: Updated:

AMARILLO - A man with a mission to inspire made a stop in Amarillo Sunday. He's already rolled about 1,200 miles in his wheelchair and he's not stopping until New York City.

Gabriel Cordell lost his ability to walk when he was hit by a car in New York, and now,20 years later, he says he knows why.

"What happened to me was an accident, but it wasn't by accident," Cordell said.

It's been a tough road for Cordell; paralyzed from the waist down since the age of 22 and, until 11 months ago, a drug addict.

"I used crystal meth and cocaine hardcore for 6 years," Cordell said.

When Cordell quit cold turkey last year, he started putting his energy into training for a cross-country mission to inspire others in a way that's never been done; traveling across the country in a standard, every-day wheelchair.

"What I'm doing is rolling 3,000 miles away from my old life and into my future," Cordell said.

His message to the disabled, the addicts, and everyone else is that anything is possible with hard work and determination.

A documentary film crew of seven is on the journey with him; some following along on bike, some in an RV with the equipment, and some in a car.

"He's averaging between 30 and 40 miles a day sometimes," Roll With Me Producer and Director Lisa France said.

France is a Los Angeles feature film producer and director, but says she couldn't turn Cordell's documentary story down, even though he was several minutes late to their first meeting.

"He was like 'I couldn't find a parking spot,' and I was sitting right in front a handicap spot, and I said 'well there's one right there.' And he just said 'that's for people who need those,'" France said.

The film, Roll With Me, doesn't have the all the money it needs right now, but Cordell says if it's meant to happen, it will. And if not, those he's already inspired along the way make everything worthwhile.

"If you asked me 'would you change your life to be able to walk again,' I'd say unequivocally, without a doubt, no. Because the effect I'm having on people is so much more than the walking could ever give me," Cordell said.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • SkyWARN 7 Forecast

    SkyWARN 7 Forecast

    Thursday, April 17 2014 1:26 PM EDT2014-04-17 17:26:57 GMT
    What a nice end to the work week with sunshine, south winds and temperatures ranging through the 70s and even some low 80s out near the Texas panhandle.  For this evening expect temperatures to fall through
    Showers Ending This Evening...
  • Man says he was shot twice by people chasing him

    Man says he was shot twice by people chasing him

    Thursday, April 17 2014 12:41 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:41:31 GMT
    Lawton- A man was in a Lawton hospital Thursday morning and police are working right now to find out who shot him twice. It happened around 2:30 a.m. when officers were called to Southwest 15th and Tennessee.
    A man was in a Lawton hospital Thursday morning and police are working to find out who shot him twice.
  • MS Walk silent auction is underway

    MS Walk silent auction is underway

    Thursday, April 17 2014 12:36 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:36:07 GMT
    LAWTON, Okla._During the month of April, City National Bank on 82nd Street will be hosting a variety of items available for a silent auction to benefit the National MS Society.Items available for the auction
    During the month of April, City National Bank on 82nd Street will be hosting a variety of items available for a silent auction to benefit the National MS Society.
Powered by WorldNow
KSWO-TV, 1401 SE 60th Street
Lawton, OK 73501

Telephone: (580) 355-7000
Fax: (580) 357-3811
Email: news@kswo.com

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KSWO. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.