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VIDEO: Kelowna-filmed documentary celebrates people with disabilities

To celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, a Kelowna director has released the locally-filmed documentary Re-Inventing The Wheel.

“We wanted to show just raw real life in wheelchairs and show that life goes on after injury and it can be fun,” explained director Chelsea McEvoy.

The idea came to Chelsea around eight years ago when she first met James Hektner. She then reached out to discuss creating a documentary film that took a year to make.

“I had a spinal cord injury nearly 25 years ago (and became a) T6-T7 paraplegic," said Hektner, who was paralyzed in a car accident. "My roommate fell asleep on the wheel and we hit a driveway approach and rolled the car."

The film sheds light on the unique Thompson-Okanagan wheelchair community and follows former respiratory therapist and newly-injured Dan McLean through his first year of life as a paraplegic.

“There’s a nonprofit organization here called Accessible Okanagan with peers ranging from Kelowna to Osoyoos," noted McEvoy. "They have 600 people in their entirety and they all get together and do events and hang out."

The film was shot in Kelowna, Kamloops and Vernon and was made possible with the help and support of Power House, People in Motion, Access Revolution, Spinal Cord Injury BC, BC Wheel Chair Sports and more.

Hektner added: “It’s about encouraging people to get out and get active especially after a traumatic injury and try to meet peers."

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