Okanagan wheelchair support group featured in Lunenburg Doc Fest film | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Okanagan wheelchair support group featured in Lunenburg Doc Fest film

Members of Accessible Okanagan, including William McCreight (right) enjoy a beer at BNA in Kelowna.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Chelsea McEvoy
October 03, 2020 - 6:00 PM

“Really, I’m just in it for the great parking,” Kamloops man William McCreight joked in a recent documentary about a group of active people who just happen to be in wheelchairs.

McCreight became a quadriplegic when he crashed his truck four years ago, but that hasn’t stopped him from supporting others who are adjusting to a new life on wheels.

He reached out to peer support groups and found Accessible Okanagan which is being featured in Re-Inventing The Wheel, a documentary that focuses on newly injured Dan McLean, who was ironically McCreight’s respiratory therapist who helped McCreight recover after his accident.

McCreight has a bond with McLean from that time and after McLean's accident, McCreight felt the need to reach out to him and offer his support. 

"When the opportunity came with this documentary that I could be a part of Dan’s first year, I thought that was pretty cool.”

READ MORE: Obstacle course to teach about challenges of limited mobility in Kamloops

It can be a tough adjustment to a new lifestyle.

“I was a fairly active guy before the accident… Being a quadriplegic, it was hard to think, without good function, of how I could get back into playing different sports or doing different activities. To be involved in this group, there’s such a large group of people that go hunting or fishing. (You can) just be into sports or camping, anything that you’ve had a dream of trying (in a wheelchair), people have done it,” McCreight said.

“Life is definitely not over after a spinal cord injury. The hardest (part of recovery) was having the drive to reach out to try and find people and go from there.”

READ MORE Man's wheelchair and camera stolen while fishing in Okanagan

He began to play wheelchair rugby and learned from others around him as he adjusted to his new set of wheels.

“It was amazing the first time skiing. It took me away from my injury to be on the mountain again, so it was pretty cool, and there’s so many sports out there," he said.

One of the biggest misconceptions people don't think about is that there are more challenges than just not being able to walk, he said.  “A lot of people when I first meet them are shocked that I can drive.”

His hope is the documentary will reach newly-injured people and provide them with the knowledge that resources and other people like themselves are out there.

The documentary is part of the Lunenburg Doc Fest and will be premiering in Canada, Saturday, Oct. 3.

Stay updated to watch it online through the documentary’s Facebook page.

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Chelsea McEvoy

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