Health Team Hero James
By: Marcie Fraser

Everyone knows someone who has overcome serious obstacles and come out a winner. Today's Health Team Hero suffered a spinal cord injury and from his wheelchair, is more active than those who can walk. His name is James.

James Chaney said, "It was real traumatic. It's nothing you're ever prepared for. When your child actually falls from a moving vehicle."

Chaney is a paraplegic. He was just a year old when he opened the car door and hit the pavement. The result? One day in a coma, several surgeries, a great deal of time spent in hospitals and rehab and now, in a wheel chair.

He said, "Most of my childhood was spent in a hospital. A lot of summers I spent, I had corrective surgery throughout my childhood to correct things. Whether it be pulled hips or whether it be Scoliosis and things of that nature."

He has pins in his knees and hips. He doesn't remember the accident. He doesn't remember feeling different either -- at least he didn't at home.

He said, "I really felt there was no difference in growing up. Being the only one in our family in a wheel chair. I didn't feel like it was really a difference."

He did once school started. He couldn't take the bus like other children or play sports like kick ball. He embraced his challenges. He graduated from high school, learned how to drive, went to college and now has two children.


Health Team Hero James

James suffered a spinal cord injury and from his wheelchair, is more active than those who can walk.

As a teacher's assistant at Phillip Livingston Magnet Academy, he dedicates his career to teaching children with special needs.

After teaching all day, he stops at Albany High School where he dedicates his time as the basketball fitness instructor.

John Campbell from the Albany Lions Youth Basketball said, "He runs us hard. When its time to practice hard, he is serious about it. That's so we go to get it done working out and everything. He takes it serious. He's good."

So does he ever ask, "Why ME?"

He said, "Why not me? Why not a better candidate to go through what I've gone through in a life time. And my answer when it did come back to me, was to show other individuals, despite your challenges, despite your trials or whatever, if you stay focused and you truly believe one, within a spiritual essence and then within yourself, you can make it."

He's overcome his physical disabilities with physical accomplishments. He lifts weights regularly and has won first place in a weight lifting competition for Warriors on Wheels. His physical strength is amazing but his emotional strength is unbelievable.

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