Hi my name is Joe Tete, store owner and a C6 spinal cord injury survivor. I am still learning, suffering, adapting, and, most importantly, living my life.
We sell international clothing brands for the seated wheelchair user made by wheelchair users.
I was always a very active person, involved in martial arts, team sports, college football, running, swimming, weightlifting, cycling, and health nut. When I was 41 years old, I remember thinking life is going well. I had a house, a job, married with two kids, and felt I was in the best shape of my life. Then, life crashed on July 30, 2017, during a bicycling race in NJ where I competed in as a hobby. The rider in front of me suddenly turned into my line to avoid road kill and fell in front of me. I attempted to manuver away, but my seat slipped downwards causing me to lose control and strike the rider's bike. I went over the handlebars landing on my head, breaking my neck. The broken vertebrae shot into my spinal cord lokie a bullet, instantly paralyzing me.
I remember lying on my back, looking up at the blue sky terrified and unable to move. I spent over 80 days in the hospital, losing my ability not only to walk but also paralyzing my fingers and lower body function. Everything changed in 1 second. I was no longer the independent strong man I use to be. I needed help from my family for just about everything. My traditional role as a husband and father now had to be reinvented. Life became 1000 times harder. Simple tasks we take for granted, now take so much energy and help to complete — days consumed with hours of therapy, as well as the extra financial expenses straining our family.
After the grieving stage became less of a thought, I decided to remove the mindful limits we all tend to put on ourselves. Mine, is adapt or die. So I began secretly saying the mantra FUSCI when life challenges your ability to adapt.
On this journey, I came across adaptive devices for all kinds of tasks. However, very little is out there for adaptive clothing that actually looks good. When you look good, you tend to feel good. That positive energy projects onto others around you. Then, all of a sudden the little things begin to go your way.
What you wear affects your mindset, no matter how subtle. In this wheel life, we need all the help and positive energy we can get.
Why not wear an item of clothing that expresses how it makes you feel.
You spent years adapting, why not adapt your wardrobe while you're at it?
Make your best reinvented self.