Power Story: Chris Kemp

April, 2023
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The WHY Behind WHAT We Do






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About

 
Chris Kemp was born in Connecticut and now lives in Texas. After Chris was born, his lungs had collapsed, and because of the insufficient oxygen to his brain, his motor became skills impaired. The doctors predicted that he would never be able to communicate or perform other basic tasks, but he defied the odds and proved them wrong. When Chris was able to leave the hospital, he and his family moved to Texarkana, where his mother is originally from. Then when he was four years old, his family relocated to Corpus, Texas, where they have lived ever since.


When Chris joined a Corpus running group nine years ago, he started to fall in love with competing in races like triathlons and marathons. Due to his disability, Chris is unable to run or walk, but he has found a way to participate nonetheless. He organized his own fundraising event and bought his own racing chair with the proceeds. Chris is able to participate in something he is genuinely passionate about by sitting in his racing chair and having someone either pull him from a bicycle or pushed from a runner. Chris loved the rush of racing so much that he wanted to do more and more of it. As a result, he left that running group in Corpus and now competes in races all over the United States. He even has his own line of merchandise called "Team Chris," and he uses the proceeds to pay for his races.


Since the beginning of his racing journey, Chris has competed in six marathons, twelve half marathons, three 5K Spartans, six Iron Man’s and numerous other 5 & 10K's. Throughout these races, Chris overcomes numerous challenges. For instance, he is piggybacked over obstacles on the course, tethered in a raft while in the water, and pushed behind by a bicycle or runner! When asked about his medal count from all the races he’s been in, he responded saying he has so many at this point that he can’t keep count. For Chris, crossing the finish line and hearing the cheering crowds is a surreal experience that just keeps getting better. He’s most excited about his next Iron Man which will be taking place next year in Texas.


In his daily life, Chris uses his brand-new Invacare® TDX® SP2 power wheelchair which he’s had for about a month and loves it! Chris really admires its tight turning radius and seat elevation. He takes great pleasure in being able to raise his chair to its highest position in order to be at eye level with others. He recently attended a concert in Las Vegas, and thanks to the elevated seat, he was able to see all of the performance. He also values his personalized head array, which he uses to operate his chair, use his phone, and open his front door.




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Fun Facts



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What do you think is the most important lesson you have learned in life so far?

The most important lesson I've learned from my life so far is to never give up and give it your all no matter what, keep chasing your passions, stay persistent and happiness will follow.




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Besides competing in races, what other hobbies do you enjoy?

Outside of racing, I enjoy playing games on my computer, specifically Facebook GSN games and Luckyland Slots




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What are a few of your most memorable adventures and why?

When I was little, my family and I drove to Alaska which was unlike any other place I’ve been to. The landscape is beautiful and we got to see plenty of wild animals like moose and bears roaming around. We actually saw a moose in a K-Mart parking lot which was quite funny.




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Who is the most influential person in your life and why?

My Mom. She helps me doing a lot of day-to-day activities so I really appreciate all that she does for me and she has been a big influence on my life. My brothers help me a lot as well, it’s really great to have that strong family bond and support system.




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Do you have any favorite TV shows or movies?

I enjoy watching game shows as much as I enjoy playing computer games. In terms of movies, my favorite is 6 Days and 7 Nights, an oldie but a goodie.




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What's included on your bucket list?
I've had the opportunity to cross many things off my bucket list, what's left so far is to go skydividng, paragliding, and compete in as many races as possible with upcoming Iron Man events, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon, the Texas Independence Relay, and the Boston Marathon





A Personal Message from Chris to the Invacare Family





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Photo Gallery



 
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Chris flashing his new hardware at the Louisiana 5K Marathon, placing 3rd!                                                     Chris looking excited testing out his new Invacare TDX SP2 power wheelchair



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Chris in Las Vegas during one of his recent races, the Rock 'n' Roll Running Series                                         A preview of some of Chris's merchandise, "Team Chris"