On July 24, 2011 Brad’s life was changed drastically. While living in Hawaii, the car he was in was hit by a drunk driver. At 20, he was faced with devastating news. The doctors told him that he would never walk again or have any mobility in his hands. He was diagnosed as a C5 quadriplegic. His life was never the same.
Adapting to his new life was never easy. Brad dealt with the the physical pain resulting from his injury and mourned the life he once had. He lost friends, his independence, and began to realize how differently the world treated him because of his injury. He remained focused on his music, art, photography and physical therapy as he rebuilt his life.
Growing up as first generation Caribbean American, Noelle was taught the value of hard work, education and treating everyone with respect. As a child, Noelle’s mother would tell her stories about being an immigrant in America in the early 80’s and the ignorance she faced from others because of her heavy accent and the color of her skin. These stories shaped the person Noelle knew she wanted to be.
In 2016, Noelle was juggling work and raising her 3 year old daughter. Dating was not an option, that is until a friend made her a profile on a popular dating site. Noelle was not amused and decided to delete her profile, until she came across Brad’s picture. The two have been inseparable ever since.
Noelle and Brad have faced many obstacles in their relationship. Early on they were met with stares, asked inappropriate questions about their relationship and treated differently. It seemed like the world had never seen an inter-abled couple before. They knew firsthand how the world perceived wheelchair users, they met people who seemed to had given up on life because of such perceptions. They wanted to make a change.
In April 2018 Noelle and Brad used their frustrations and turned it into positivity by creating @wheellifestories, an Instagram page highlighting wheelchair users showing off their athleticism to simply living a normal happy life.
Together they hope to shed light on both sides of the story from a quadriplegic's point of view to one of a caregiver's. They truly understand the trials and tribulations that people with disabilities face.
"Every day is a challenge but success is rewarding."