WESLEY HAMILTON - DISABLED BUT NOT REALLY
Occupation: Motivational Speaker / Crossfit Trainer
Location: Kansas City, MO
Relationship Status: Single
Wesley is the bubbly, single father of Nevaeh (8), who’s mother is unfit to be a parent. Wesley has always been a loving father but when he was shot six and a half years ago by a drug addict and became paralyzed from the waist down bound to a wheelchair, he became depressed and overweight. However, because he knew he had to raise his daughter, he crawled out of his depression and dove into the world of crossfit and motivational speaking. He now travels to schools, conferences, and meetings nationwide with his non-profit called “Disabled But Not Really” where he speaks about overcoming his disability through healthy eating and exercise. He is in the best shape of his life but because of his wheelchair he admits he still lacks confidence in fatherhood, relationships, and everyday life. His mom helps him as much as she can, but all Wesley wants is to be independent.
CALLING IN THE EXPERTS:
FASHION: Wesley says when people look at him all they see is the chair. Since no one is really looking at HIM, he says it doesn't matter that he's always in the same workout clothes -- t-shirt, gym shorts, or sweatpants. Wesley says it's difficult to dress up (even for his speaking engagements), because button downs and slacks are not comfortable for someone who always is sitting down. He has never been measured since losing a lot of weight in the chair (over 100 lbs.) because he cannot stand up!
GROOMING: Wesley's curly, frizzy hair is so long it's either in a ponytail or in braids at ALL times. He calls his hair and beard "nappy" and rarely goes to the barbershop because most shops are not wheelchair accessible. He hasn't cut his hair in nearly 7 years (since the accident) and will clip his beard, only to reveal an uneven shave. Due to his circumstance, incontinence can sometimes be an issue, especially because his chair barely fits in his tiny bathroom.
DESIGN: Wesley and his daughter live together in a small two bedroom, one bathroom house. He has a dilapidated ramp leading him up to his porch but other than that, the house is NOT wheelchair accessible. He hasn't even seen his basement where the laundry is located (his mom comes over to do the laundry), or his backyard because there's no way for him to wheel around on the uneven surface. Wesley had to remove the bathroom door to accommodate his wheelchair. He doesn't invite people over since there's no privacy to use the toilet.
FOOD: Wesley wants to cook! He eats very healthy, except for when he orders pizza (which is more often than he wants to admit)! However, he can only cook using portable appliances, such as a George Foreman and an air fryer because he cannot easily use normal appliances in his chair. He loves to grill but can't get to the backyard and has gotten third degree burns on his knees from the grill (he couldn't feel the heat on his legs)! The stove's power knobs are located at the back, rather than on the front so he has to use a wooden spoon to turn it on and risk burning himself!
CULTURE: Wesley LOVES watching movies with his daughter and does his best to take her out in the city. BUT, he is self-conscious when he has to roll through aisles and ask people to get up so he can get through. He also struggles when dining at restaurants due to narrow aisles and high table-tops. Wesley hasn't dated anyone since his accident and believes women are not interested in him due to the chair. He would love to find someone who accepts him for who he is.
FAB FIVE CONNECTION: The guys love a good workout and will get put to the test at Crossfit with Wesley. Bobby will have his work cut out for him designing a space that is both stylish and wheelchair accessible.
EVENT: Nevaeh’s 9th birthday is September 9th, 9/9/19! He wants to throw a big bash for her and show that her dad can do it all! Alt. Event – Wesley can arrange a public speaking event through his non-profit in October or November where he does a speech.
Nominator: Dawn Henderson, 50, mom
Dawn wishes she could give her legs to her son. She helps take care of Nevaeh and helps with household chores because Wesley is tired, sore, and achy, though he doesn’t complain. She wants to help him but knows he needs to feel confident and independent in whom he is and not let his wheelchair define him.