Gabe Trujillo – Disabled Devil on Wheels


Before you watch Johnny’s interview with Gabe, here’s what you should know about him:

Gabe Trujillo was always an athlete. He had asthma, but he could control it, and life went on.

But one day, when he was 14, he was struck with what seemed to be a severe cold. Exacerbated by his asthma, the cold got worse, and his parents eventually took him to the hospital. Skip forward… and Gabe was surprised to find himself waking from a coma, with a collapsed lung, on a ventilator, unable to move his arms and legs.

The doctors were baffled. Gabe was told that his paralysis would probably clear up and go away. Doctors theorized one condition, then another. He hung in, waiting for his movement to return. It never did. Today, the best guess is that Gabe has Hopkins Syndrome, an asthma-related condition that can cause paralysis… but he’s the only known case in which the condition affected all four limbs, and the progression of the condition — those annoying “whys” — remain elusive.

None of this has stopped Gabe from embracing what the days give him. Taking on the persona of the “Disabled Devil on Wheels,” he plays power soccer (satiating that sports fix) and works as a marketing specialist for an educational technology company.

Below is the video of Johnny interviewing Gabe.

Download audio MP3 file (Right-click and choose “Save Target As…” or “Save File As…”)


  1. Jean (BlueJean751) Twitter says:

    Life can carry so many unexpected twists and turns and one never knows what may be around the next corner. But in the 10% of what may happen to us, it is the 90% of our responses that really matter. Positive attitudes and a determination to look at the “manure” of our circumstances and find a “pony” within, while holding onto hope, helps us to find new options and directions.

    If we face our difficulties with a negative and defeatist attitude, sure enough the slimy pit of self-pity is waiting near by to swallow us in it’s grasp. It is not a pit that is easy to crawl out of either, causing all hopes and dreams to spill in with us.

    I learned a lot growing up with a blind father who had juvenile diabetes. He was in and out of comas often in those years and as I turned 15, he lost one leg to the knee and by 16, he lost the other leg to his knee. He had to quickly learn how to readjust and find the “pony” of opportunity by learning how to balance and re-walk again, and later learning how to do nearly anything that a sighted person with legs could do. His life taught me to avoid those pits that move in close when we are down and out.

    I love hearing stories such as Gabe and Jon who have beaten the odds and learned how to make the best of a bad situation. It represents a small portion of society, and it brings much encouragement to others to watch those of us who develop a positive attitude and outlook on life despite the difficulties. Love your title: The BadAss Project!

    Great video guys! Keep up the good work.

    Jean :-)

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