No Free Rides Episode #104: Katy Blake’s Crazy Rehab Ride

In episode #104 of No Free Rides, Katy Blake, injured in 2010 on a canoe trip, shares her journey post-injury about navigating the less-than ideal Medicaid situation in the state of Mississippi.

After receiving only 2 weeks of rehab and being sent home, Katy took it upon herself to raise money so she could attend the renowned Sheperd Rehab Center in Atlanta, and successful was she ever.

Katy ended up raising a staggering amount, but as you’ll hear in this episode, it was barely enough due to the high medical costs that are the norm now days.

Tiffiny and Katy also discuss her other rehab experience at the controversial Project Walk, which was funded by an anonymous donor, as well as her interest in painting that came about after her injury (and the awesome “Hoo Dat” owl painting she made for Drew Brees).

– Visit her site: Rehab for Katy

Listen via the player below.

No Free Rides is sponsored by

Show run time is 52 minutes


Keepin’ Your Ride Immaculate: The Best Wheelchair Cleaning Techniques

The wheelchair may go down in history as one of the most useful gadgets ever created by man, beating out the car, the TV, even the electric drill. How come? It replaces the need for legs. When it comes to the higher purpose of a gadget, you can’t get anymore important than this.

And since it’s such a make-or-break device, keeping it in working order AND clean are of tantamount of importance, and ensure you have a ride you can count on. After all, without your legs what do you got? Keeping your wheelchair clean however definitely takes a bit of elbow grease.

The good news is that there are loads of tricks and gadgets to get it done, getting your wheelchair as sparkly white as possible (or sparkly gun-metal grey if that’s the color of your chair). Read this post

SCI Superstar: Muffy Davis

A wife, mother and seven-time Paralympic medalist, Muffy Davis is one of the most well-known disabled athletes in the US. Successful in both wheelchair racing and skiing, she’s won dozens of medals since breaking her back nearly 25 years ago.

But she’s more than just an athlete. A graduate of Stanford University and an internationally renowned motivational speaker who’s figured out the secret to sustained happiness, Muffy’s smarts are almost as impressive as her athletic success. Read this entry

Beautiful Wheelchair Art Installations

Art can change the way you think and the way you see things. It can make you take pause, to wonder about something in this world that you didn’t before, which is why it’s great when art tackles disability.

Whether it’s showing a different way to view “failing”  by using an iconic piece of medical equipment to showing how we as people with disabilities thrive in spite of our disabilities, an art installment has the power to help the world see the truth behind disability.

For a look at some of the best art exhibits on disability, read this post.

SCI Superstar: Gabe Rodreick

When you’re injured early on in life, some say it makes adjusting to a spinal cord injury easier.

However Gabe Rodreick, a born musician who had 11 years of piano under his belt before breaking his neck (and losing his finger movement) when he was just 15, that wasn’t necessarily the case.

Gabe however eventually came back and found a new instrument to replace the one he could no longer play – his voice.

Now the lead singer of the up and coming band Treading North, Gabe has figured out how to have both a successful creative outlet and the drive to keep his body ready for the cure. Read this entry

Just Say No to Curbs

Nothing goes together worse than curbs and wheelchairs. Well maybe square wheels and wheelchairs, but that’s another blog post entirely. The thing about curbs – they’re everywhere.

They’re a beacon of modern-day society, keeping pedestrians and vehicles safe from one another, but they weren’t exactly created with people in wheelchairs in mind. Some wheelchairs, or rather wheelchair-users, can do a bang up job of popping curbs, but for most wheelchair-users, curbs are as limiting as a 2 foot thick steel door.

There are however several tricks wheelchair-users can learn to no longer let curbs hold them back. Some may be tricky, but they all work. Check out our curb-traversing videos below. Read this entry

SCI Superstar: Sonja Gaudet

Considered one of Canada’s super athletes and a world champion in the sport of curling, Sonja Gaudet may be one of the most competitive people in a wheelchair you’ll ever meet. A wife, a mother and a Paralympic gold medalist, her injury has only fueled her desire to be active.

But she wasn’t this way right away. After meeting with Rick Hansen, another SCI superstar we’ve profiled who hails from Canada, she was able to fully understand what it meant to still be able to do everything she used to, but just a little bit differently. And that was when this born and bred athlete was ready to take on adaptive sports.

Read on for the awesome story of reclaiming oneself in the eyes of Sonja Gaudet. Read this entry

Get Your Walk-On with Gait Training

When it comes to recovering from a spinal cord injury, doctors used to say there was no hope at all. But that is no longer the case, and gait training – the therapy treatment that suspends you in the air and helps you walk – surely proves this point.

Nearly every major rehab spinal cord injury facility now either has gait training or is trying hard to get the program going; that is how beneficial this treatment is. Creating new neural connections, preventing osteoporosis, increasing blood flow and more, the benefits are huge. For a quick look at gait training, read our post.

SCI Superstar: Rafe Biggs

Even 10 years ago, long before his injury, Rafe Biggs PhD was not your average guy. A man with a sympathetic soul, he’s taken the torch of disability and sexuality and elevated it to new heights, and he isn’t afraid what society may think.

Founder of Sexability, an organization dedicated to helping people with disabilities discover sexual pleasure, Rafe has made it his mission to help people with disabilities have better sex lives. And he’s gone a step further in this quest, uncovering the mysterious world of “transfer orgasms;” the theory that the brain can find new areas on the body to experience intense pleasure.

To learn more about this beautiful man who’s dedicated his life to helping to improve the sexuality of people with disabilities, check out his amazing story below. Read this post

Wheelchair Accessible Snorkeling: An Awesome View

Aah yes snorkeling, the diving replacement. As a quadriplegic, the entire idea of snorkeling has always been enticing. Diving is so serious. You have to worry about the water pressure, the air tank, how in the heck you’re going to get a wet suit on. All that can ruin the fun.

But with snorkeling, you just lay there on the surface of the water and enjoy the view below. It’s lot more peaceful and a lot less stressful than diving; no wonder so many with disabilities have fallen in love with it. Did I mention it costs a lot less? It’s got winner winner chicken dinner written all over it that’s for sure.

Check out three of our favorite videos showing people of all ability levels going snorkeling, including one of the coolest contraptions you’ll ever see made just for snorkeling. Read this entry