In 2017, as patients at Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, François Fried met Richard Dahl. François, a paraplegic from a motocross crash and one-year post injury, was assigned a newly injured peer mentee, Richard, a paraplegic as the result of a gunshot wound. François had been asked to mentor this new patient, as he was going through this massive adjustment that François had just been through himself. Thus, their friendship began!
As François and Richard spent more time at the Neuro Recovery Center, a fully equipped gym for spinal cord injury patients at Brooks Rehab, the two bonded over not just their injuries and their common interests as guys in their 20’s, but also their like-mindedness when it came to entrepreneurship and business.
While hanging out at the Jacksonville Local Fair, the first time that Richard was able to hang out outside of the Neuro Recovery Center without a caregiver, the idea for Wheelchair Gang was formed. This outing was the first time that Richard had been out by himself with François and as the two were wheeling through the crowded fair they began to shout “Wheelchair gang coming through!”
Once home from the fair, Richard brought up the saying to a couple of friends, who found the saying not only catchy, but uplifting. This led Richard to propose to François the idea of starting a lifestyle brand called “Wheelchair Gang” and from here their business partnership began and the brand that we all know as Wheelchair Gang began.
Our mission is to promote an empowering environment which enhances the quality of life for individuals in wheelchairs. We aim to improve their experience by inspiring them through social support, mentorship, education, and fashion.