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This Changed My Personal and Professional Lives

Text written on a wall reads, "Dream Big and Work Hard! Jean Driscoll. 10-6-18. Boston Marathon. 1996, '91, '92, '93, '94, '95, '96, 2008

By Ryan Wilson

Team Trust, CEO

I grew up in the middle of cornfields in a small town in Illinois.

It seemed I was the only person in the entire county in a wheelchair, though that is not statistically accurate.

When I transitioned to the University of Illinois, an hour and a half away from home, I encountered, almost immediately, extremely talented athletes with disabilities and massive hearts.

They let me into their communities and worlds.

It was amazing.

At the same time, I noticed most media outlets — radio, newspaper, TV, digital — were not covering these athletes. 

It was disappointing, and certainly a missed opportunity.

So, I assembled a few friends, and we proposed to create what was the only Paralympic-specific radio program in the nation at the University of Illinois.

Our pitch was successful, and we eventually landed a Friday drive-time slot.

We interviewed many of the greatest athletes in the world in our studio, even the one and only Jean Driscoll.

She, like all our other friends who visited the studio, signed the wall.

The show did fizzle out after my graduation, but it unquestionably inspired the creation of Team Trust.

There never really is a bad day to authentically promote the disability community.

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