Austin Charters

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Hello, my name is Austin Charters and I am 23 years old. I am currently a full-time student pursuing my degree in Business Administration. I am an entrepreneur at heart, and I plan on opening my own business after graduation. Outside of school, writing and cinematography are a huge passion of mine. Writing gives me the freedom to express the emotions that my body can’t physically achieve, while cinematography allows me to put those expressions on a screen. Writing a script, directing, and editing are all exciting elements that appeal to my creative nature.

On October 1, 2006 I was shot in the neck during a freak hunting accident. This injury has rendered me a C5 quadriplegic. Before my accident I was an extremely happy, funny, and energetic kid. I loved to ride my motorcycle, race my BMX bike, hunt, paintball, snowboard, and play all kinds of sports. I was also in my first year of running Cross Country at school, and was planning on doing the L.A. Marathon. I was a huge competitor in all aspects of my sporting “career.” Whether it was competitively racing my motorcycle, or competing in a school sanctioned event, my goal was always to push my limits and be the best person on the field.

Many people are unsure of what my abilities are and how to act when they are near me. It can be difficult sometimes to show them that I am a normal person just like them. I can still do a lot of the same things that I used to do, except a little differently now. I am determined to overcome my situation and show the world that this thing we call “paralysis” is not a term to describe the sick and disabled, but merely a phrase that describes our new “normal”.

It has been a long hard battle to get to where I am today, with many major obstacles in my way. I have been hit with tragedy, triumph, and everything in between. No matter what happens in life, I know I will be able to get through it with all of the love and support I continuously receive from all of my family and friends. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for them.

Loretta Charters

Hi, my name is Loretta. I am mom to two boys – Ryan and Austin, and Mimi to a precious baby girl named Emma. Although life threw a huge curveball our way in 2006 when Austin suffered a high-level spinal cord injury, we are slowly adjusting to our "new normal”. I, for one, choose to have an attitude of gratitude. The most important thing in life for me is to be the best wife, mother, Mimi, friend and caregiver that I can be. My family is my world and I consider myself to be richly blessed.

Robert Charters

Hello everyone, my name is Robert Charters and I am Austin’s father. I was born in Las Vegas, but was raised all over Southern California. I have been a manufacturers sales rep for ADS storm drain products for the last 15 years. They have done so much to help Austin since his injury, I couldn’t imagine working for another company. Watching Austin grow up, I knew that he had a “rise above” attitude and could do anything he set his mind to. Since his accident, Austin has amazed all of us with his charming smile and positive attitude. I'm so proud of where he is in life right now, and all of the obstacles he has overcome. He continues to make us proud with every little thing he does.

Ryan, Alaine, and Emma Charters

Hi everyone! This is Austin’s older brother, Ryan. I was with Austin on the day of his accident. That day was the single most tragic day of my life. It has been hard on me watching my brother go through his struggles, but he’s the toughest person I know, so I believe he’ll make it through any obstacle that stands in his way. The last few years of my life have been good to me. After graduating high school I joined the Army. I have seen parts of the world that many people will never get the chance to see. During that time I was lucky enough to meet the love of my life, Alaine. After many months of dating, we decided to tie the knot. In the fall of 2014 we welcomed our first child; a beautiful baby girl named Emmalyn Grace. Although I am starting a new chapter in my life with a family of my own, we will always be here to support Austin in all of his endeavors.