Not Slowing Down

1 decade 1 year 7 months ago Thursday, February 22 2007 Feb 22, 2007 Thursday, February 22, 2007 7:07:09 PM CST February 22, 2007 in Sports

Max Lewis has spent the past 20 years in a wheelchair, but he is far from disabled.

"Still the same smile. Great personality. He was always the class clown kind of guy. He still is!" described friend Becca Langenkamp.

He's a pro bono lawyer and guest lectures at Mizzou.

Max stared in track at Truman State University. But a dive into a shallow stream left him paralyzed the summer after his freshman year. Max's athletic drive didn't slow down however.

"At the first it was extremely difficult, because you still have the taste and the fervor of competition and I have that today. But you know, I have come to accept that, you know, I am disabled. And most likely I will be in this wheelchair for the rest of my life. But I still love sports so much," said Lewis.

Max now coaches children's gymnastics and is touching people's lives with his optimism.

"We all have bad days, ya know. And we know that. And there's gonna be rough times for everybody. And the thing that I always try to do is to keep it in perspective is number one, it always gets better. Have a positive attitude," he added.

"I think he's great. I know he does a lot of volunteer work and I think it's fabulous," said Kathy Harvey, parent of son Lewis coached.

His work doesn't go unnoticed, Max's friends planned a little surprise and the community helped make it happen.

"You know, we were doing it for him, but we decided one day that we needed to bring Max in on it. We needed to let him know, because wouldn't it be great if he could be there with us as we did these fund raisers and everything," friend Darin Young said.

This week they presented Max with a new wheelchair accessible van, a plan that originated at Shakespeare's Pizza about a year ago.

Next on the list for Max is a new house.

For more information on Max's project click on the link to the right.

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