Our Speakers:

Our speakers are a key component of our CRWM events. Without them, their experiences, and willingness to be vulnerable, our participants would not be able to take away the valuable perspectives that they typically leave with.

Our Come Roll With Me speakers are unique – not in that they utilize a wheelchair, but in who they are as people. Our speakers represent both acquired disabilities and congenital. They have a wide range of disabilities, age groups, and individual circumstance.

Their one common goal? To educate our community on the accessibility challenges they face, the obstacles they had to overcome, and despite all of that -the amazing, independent lives they all live.

If you are interested in speaking at our events, head over to our contact page and send us a message!

W.D. Foster

W.D. Foster is an Army veteran and a former Birmingham police officer. He became a wheelchair user after experiencing what doctors described to be a spinal cord stroke related to a physical fitness test at Craig Airfield while in the army. W.D met Cathy Carver at Spain Rehabilitation and began speaking for CRWM in 2017. W.D. enjoys sports, especially basketball and UAB Blazer football. He is also on the Board at Lakeshore Foundation. W.D hopes CRWM participants take away from their experience that “People in wheelchairs are normal. Only difference is our mode of transportation. We like all the same stuff, music, sports, etc.” He goes on to offer a piece of advice, “Do not just socialize with people who are just able-bodied – we learn the most from people when they are different from us.”

Karneshia Patton

Karneshia Patton is a 29-year-old woman with L5 Myelomengiocele Spina Bifida. She is the current Ms. Wheelchair Alabama America – 2020. Her platform is about proper representation of people with disabilities in the entertainment industry. She met Cathy Carver in 2016 and began speaking for CRWM in 2019. She enjoys doing nails, listening to music, shopping, traveling, and reading. She is currently a full-time nail artist. One thing Karneshia enjoys about CRWM is “educating people on how to properly interact with people with disabilities, showing them that they can still make it – Our lives are not that different.

Josh Whitmire

Josh Whitmire is a 34-year-old man with Spina Bifida. He also acquired a spinal cord injury when he was 12 years old. He met Cathy Carver at Spain Rehab during physical therapy and has been guest speaking with CRWM since 2018. Today, Josh is employed full-time with Disability Rights and Resources (since 2011) and enjoys water sports like skiing, cooking, and spending time with his wife. One thing Josh enjoys about CRWM is getting to show individuals who may not be familiar, what it’s like to live with an accessibility challenge.

Bryan Kirkland

Bryan Kirkland was injured in 1992 at the age of 20 during a motocross race. It resulted in a C6-7 spinal cord injury leaving him unable to walk, difficulty with balancing and some limited use of his hands. After much rehabilitation he has taken life by storm. He got married to Shai in 1997.  He is employed by Home Depot and also is in sales for urology supplies. He enjoys working on cars. He is very independent driving with hand-controls and has travelled many places in the world. He’s an accomplished Paralympic athlete in the sport of wheelchair rugby winning the gold medal in 2000 in Sydney, the bronze medal in 2004 in Athens, and the gold in 2008 in Beijing. He was the first Paralympic athlete inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2012. He still plays wheelchair rugby his team, the Texas Stampede out of Austin, Tx. He and Shai live in Birmingham and Bryan has been a wonderful help to teach us about life with a disability through Come Roll With Me!

Tim Alexander

Tim Alexander was injured in a car accident in 2006 which resulted in a T5 incomplete spinal cord injury and paralyzed from his neck down. Through this tragedy, he certainly triumphed. Alexander is a husband, author, inspirational speaker, UAB director of care to development, career placement, and community outreach, life coach. Specifically regarding his role with the UAB football team, he coaches athletes in their mental performance. His priorities are to have children, begin a house facility (therapy at home), and continually become a bigger change agent in this world by accomplishing something “beyond his wildest dreams.” Cathy Carver was Alexander’s first therapist post-injury. Cathy inspired him and he inspired her which resulted in a life-long relationship. Amongst the CRWM community, he became known as the energetic, social butterfly “handy-capable” guy and hero for the “handy-capable” community. His favorite quote/life motto is: “We don’t need it to be easy, we just need it to be possible” (Tim Alexander).

For more information, please visit: https://www.inspiredbyta.com/

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