Richard Corbett sets out to become a wheelchair influencer after surviving dark times. His goal is to prevent other wheelchairs users from getting depressed and reaching rock bottom by influencing them through social media.
Corbett experienced a spinal cord injury a decade ago after suddenly falling into an open vent while jogging and plummeting 50 feet into an underground parking garage. During the incident his elbow was crushed, his two legs snapped and his pectoral muscles were separated and pulled from his sternum. He also suffered a spinal cord injury at his L2 vertebra that left him using a wheelchair. This accident happened one week before his 21st birthday which is why his target audience is men aged 18 to 34 who are active paraplegics.
Corbett’s goal is to reach people during the first year of using a wheelchair so they don’t reach the low points that he did.
As a wheelchair influencer, he shares his experiences on social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. Corbett has 60,000 subscribers on YouTube, 13,000 followers on Instagram and about 100,000 fans on TikTok. He estimates he reaches more than 190,000 people regularly with all social media platforms combined.
Corbett hit rock bottom after his physical recovery left him depressed, living alone in a basement and addicted to painkillers. He eventually slid into a drug-induced psychosis that led to him being institutionalized. He admits it was a terrifying moment in his life but it led to his sobriety.
EWheels EW-M45 Power Wheelchair
His time attending group therapy in rehab encouraged him to share his experiences beyond the walls of rehab and reach out to everyone through social media.
His social media journey began with Instagram until he connected with a popular interview podcast host Andrew Deitsch. The interview Corbett did with Deitsch when viral and led to their partnership in Wheels2Walking which is an organization that creates content and videos for wheelchair users.
Wheels2Walking is something Corbett created for himself. Not his current self, but his past self that struggled during that first year. He created it for the 20-year-old kid that had his entire future taken from him and didn’t know how to live life in a wheelchair. Wheels2Walking is for him and everyone else going through the same situation.
Corbett continues to influence wheelchair users by trying adaptive motorsports and capturing the fun on camera. His skydiving photo landed on the cover of the November 2019 issue of HomeCare magazine plus won the annual Wheels Up! accessible travel photo contest.
Corbett plans to continue influencing others through social media platforms and grow his audience to reach as many people as possible with the goal of preventing them from experiencing the lows he did during his first year of adapting to life in a wheelchair.