James Lilly was shot twice, and paralyzed, while in a gang fight at the age of 15 in the South Side of Chicago. Now, 20 years after the shooting, James is both a motivational speaker and a professional wheelchair athlete.

James travels the country, to speak about his former life in a gang and how the decisions you make as a youth will be with you your entire life. Wheelchair sports were pivotal in turning James’ life around.

The main focus of his racing is Sadler’s Ultra Challenge, a 267-mile stage race from Fairbanks to Anchorage, Alaska. Not only do the races have to battle extreme weather, steep hills, and heavy traffic, but they also have to battle their own physical limitations.