Injured and living life as a wheelchair user since the age of 25, Frank Barham (now 59) just made a trip most wouldn’t dare to attempt. Planning to arrive May 22, he set out from Atlanta to Savannah, Georgia, traveling the 302 miles in his wheelchair. Making the expedition as part of his Wheel 2 Live campaign, he hit a complication along the way when his foot developed a sore that required some time off the road for treatment. The journey was estimated to take him two weeks to complete at an average of about 30 miles per day. His band, Brazilian Fusion, planned to perform a benefit concert at a local church upon Barham’s arrival in Savannah.
His website states that he sought out to accomplish two things through this campaign: “share good music and raise funds for those needing wheelchairs while highlighting the public benefits of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) during its 25th national anniversary”.
Before the accident that caused his injuries, Barham was often torn between being athletic and being musical. After his accident, he used a lot of his time for music and is now considered a prominent harmonica player. Even so, he still liked to keep active and was hoping to help others in wheelchairs do the same through sponsor donations of $1,000 and revenue from the concert. Childhood friend Gene Brooks comments, “He’s raising money to buy wheelchairs for people who want to be active. These wheelchairs have more access than some of the less expensive ones.”
Blogger's Note: Frank Barham and a close friend following in a van behind him were killed when struck by a car on a Georgia highway 30 miles before reaching Savannah. The benefit concert was canceled but within days Wheel 2 Live received more than $12,000 in donations. For more on that story, click here.