The KC Ability Expo brings inspiration to the metro

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Determined people around the metro turned difficulties into opportunities at Saturday and Sunday’s Kansas City Ability Expo.

People with disabilities are using state of the art equipment to rise above their challenges however some expo attendees said real freedom starts with your state of mind.

"When you are dancing everything just seems to disappear," said Joanne Fluke of Groove Ability.

Fluke was born with a disease similar to spina bifida and has no feeling from the waist down. Despite her condition, she began dancing as a girl and claims it is her passion. Although Fluke has heard the word “can’t” many times, she has refused to listen to it. Recently she started dancing Zumba.

“I don't let that stop me. I pretty much keep pushing forward.  I may hesitate for a moment.  We all hesitate, but then once I make the final decision, it’s all out,” she said.

Fluke also gave a little advice to those who have been afraid to try something new.

"Give it one shot, one shot. Get out there on the dance floor and you will realize that every worry that you have about your disability, every struggle seems to fade away, even if it is just for a moment," she said.

Another person who was part of the expo was James Watson of Wheelchair Sports, Inc. Watson used to love to bike, until a car accident in 1996 made him a quadriplegic. That moment changed a lot about how he now does things. However, despite the accident he has found a way to continue doing what he loves.

"This is called the Top End Force R Hand Cycle. There have been leaps and bounds in hand cycles to allow us to ride faster and further and get folks in these hand cycles with all the adaptions," said Watson.

James brought seven hand cycles and a foot powered chopper to the KC Ability Expo to show others how to adapt and get behind the wheel again. Adaptations in both road bikes and wheelchairs are allowing people with disabilities to escape some of their obstacles and in doing so have inspired others to do the same.

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