Paul Schulte, Paralympic gold medalist, design engineer at Invacare’s sports and recreation division, and participant in the Real Life campaign, with his wife and son.

Invacare Corp, Elyria, Ohio, is introducting Real Life, a new campaign that aims to raise awareness of the everyday struggles and achievements of those living with disabilities, ailments, or advancing age.

For these individuals, activities of daily living can require extraordinary effort. The campaign and platform allow people to share their real-life stories—or the story of someone who inspires them—for a chance to win cash prizes for themselves and the charity of their choice.

The company is launching the campaign online, creating a digital forum through YouTube, Facebook, and Flickr. People are invited to capture inspiring stories in video or photo form. Participants can submit entries by visiting and clicking “ShareYour Story.”

Three stories will be selected to win $3,000 for the creator of the entry, with $6,000 donated to the charity of their choice. The contest runs from April 4 to June 30. The Real Life campaign aims to inspire those who use products such as oxygen, wheelchairs, and walkers and think they can no longer live their life to the fullest.

After being injured in a serious car accident at age 10, Paul Schulte was left paralyzed from the waist down. His love for sports brought him back to the basketball court as a teenager, and he later played for the United States men’s basketball team in the Paralympics, including the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing. He has been recognized globally, earning several gold, silver, and bronze medals.

“When Invacare first approached me about the Real Life Campaign, I loved the idea,” said Schulte, Paralympic gold medalist and design engineer at Invacare’s sports and recreation division, Top End. “If I could go back in time and whisper over my 10-year-old shoulder, I would say, ‘It’s okay. All of your dreams can still come true.’ Today I am an athlete, a husband, and a new father. I hope ‘Real Life’ will get those words to a new audience of people who may be struggling.”

The campaign also features the stories of many others, including those dealing with trials related to advancing age.

[Source: Invacare]