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Gabe Chesman

In September 2007, Gabe Chesman, a resident of Springfield, NJ was living in Philadelphia where he was enrolled at Drexel University. Having just celebrated his 21st birthday in August, he was looking forward to a new semester: starting classes, hanging out with friends, playing his guitar. But on September 17th, Gabe’s world turned upside down.

Updates (1)

August 11, 2023

My name is Gabriel Chesman and I really appreciate your taking a few minutes to read my story. Of course, some of you know me, but for those of you who do not, let me tell you a little about myself.

In September of 2007, I was entering my fourth year at Drexel University: I had just moved into my first apartment with some friends, I was doing well in school, I was an avid soccer player, and I played guitar in a band. At 21, my whole life was ahead of me. Then, in one instant, all this was abruptly taken away by a still-unexplained spinal cord stroke that has left me quadriplegic. Life has never been the same.

Throughout the past 16 years, life as a quadriplegic has been quite a journey. Many of you have been part of that journey -- from the long weeks in the ICU when I was intubated and on a feeding tube, through the endless months of rehab, working to regain as much of my limited functionality as possible and through the transformation of my mother Jamie’s home to make it an accessible environment for someone in my condition. Through the many ups and downs, in both actions and financial donations, so many of you were there to help me move forward and I am forever grateful.

But perhaps the greatest gift I would receive in these early years was the gift of independence – a wheelchair accessible van.

My van was not just essential for getting to medical appointments and physical therapy; it has allowed me to go out into the world, to meet friends and make new connections, and eventually, it allowed me to move across the country to Vancouver which is now my home.

Today, my van is vital to go to university and to work outside of the house. It has allowed me to go out and enjoy local events and activities, to thrive and have a fulfilling social life, to take part in Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) related events and to support newly injured folks. But after 16 years of loyal service, my van needs to be retired. I am reaching out to request your help funding a replacement van which is essential to allow me to continue living a full and independent life.

Some of you may know that I worked for a non-profit that helps individuals with spinal cord injuries adjust and thrive. It was extremely rewarding, and I met some incredible people. During COVID, I took the opportunity to build on my education. After 2 years of taking classes online, I have been able to return to the university in person to finish my college degree. I can’t convey just how thrilling it is to be back at school and connect with my peers and professors. More than just a vehicle, my van has made it possible for me to play an active role in my community, connect personally with SCI folks to share my experience, and get to explore a bit of the world beyond Vancouver.

I humbly come to you to ask for your help to fund the purchase of a new accessible van and keep me going along this road.

All contributions to my campaign at HelpHopeLive, an accredited 501 3 (c) charitable organization, are tax deductible and the funds will be used only for my van, or other medical expenses that are not covered by insurance.

Thank you. Gabriel.

Photo Galleries (2)

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November 8, 2023

Gabe is an Inspiration

Kevin Lynch

October 15, 2023

Gabe, you are an exceptional individual. Your accomplishments continue to demonstrate to everyone just how special you are. You have never disappointed me, proud of you for eternity. Love you


October 13, 2023

With love from the Clark Family! Keep up the positive energy Chesman Family - the world is a better place because of you!!

Ryan Clark