Ned Norton was working as a fitness trainer for Olympic athletes and bodybuilders when a young man with a spinal cord injury asked him for help.
"At first, I had no idea what to do with him," said Norton, who managed a health club in Albany, New York.
Together they developed a workout program, and the young man made great strides.
"Even (his) doctors saw the physical and psychological improvements we were able to make," Norton said.
It didn't take long for word to spread. Patients from a rehabilitation center sought out Norton's help, and he began training them for free. After a newspaper published an article about Norton's workouts with the disabled, his phone rang off the hook.
"So I opened a gym designed to fit their needs," he said.
For the past 25 years, Norton has dedicated himself to providing free and low-cost strength and conditioning training for hundreds of people living with a variety of disabilities.
"They can't move, they can't be independent. They can't live their lives," said Norton, 55. "I'm building them up, building them stronger, so they can go out and live life like they're supposed to."
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