Disabled man needs help pursuing new career

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NEWTON, Ala (WTVY) - Ken gamble is used to working on cars. He's been doing it for years.

He only has one obstacle – he’s in a wheelchair.

"October of '09, I got paralyzed because of a spinal stroke,” said Gamble. “It's been challenging, but we're trying to make the best of it. I'm really wanting to get to work. That's my biggest thing - I want to work."

Ken has wanted to work for nearly a decade, but he hasn't had any luck.

"All they see is a wheelchair,” said Ken. “A lot of people, all they don't see me myself. They don't see my resume, my application, all my credentials. All they see is a wheelchair and their like, don't want to take a chance."

If employers won't take a chance on him, Ken figures he'll take his chances pursuing a new goal, becoming a truck driver.

"I wanna be able to get back out in the world and drive,” said Ken. “That's one of the things I'm good at."

Ken has used his knowledge of cars to adapt his lawn mower and van so he can still get the thrill of being behind the wheel.

After months of studying the handbook, he thinks he's ready for his commercial driver’s license test.

All he needs is a truck.

The truck would need to be wheelchair accessible and fitted with hand controls and an automatic transition panel, but trucks like that aren't particularly common, and they're expensive.

"I'm thinking it's probably going to run 30 to 40 thousand, somewhere in that range, with everything I need."

He's inspired by a wheelchair-bound truck driver in Missouri.

His truck has the necessary enhancements, but he rarely takes loads through Dothan, so Ken is still looking for an 18 wheeler to borrow for his test.

He wants to make sure he can get the license before making the big investment.

"I think it will actually prove what I've been saying for years - just because somebody has a disability, whether it be a wheelchair or a mental or physical of any kind of disability, that doesn't mean anything," said Ken.
If anyone has a truck or would like to help Ken, you can email him:
kag1230@gmail.com



 
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