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Aug 12, 2022

Catching Up With Disability Advocate Jerome Flores

You may remember him from making headlines in the news as the paralyzed man taking part in awareness rides. He also set his sights on the Paralympics in 2016, but that did not materialize. Jerome Flores is no stranger to advocacy for the disabled, after falling from a forty-foot high pole. Sabreena Daly sat down with him this week to chat about what life has been like since his tragic accident.


Sabreena Daly, Reporting

He’s an advocate for persons with disabilities; a familiar face for championing awareness rides across the country with a hand peddling trike. To be resolute is personified through Jerome Flores, but his story as a paraplegic began when he was twenty-one.

Jerome Flores


Jerome Flores, Paraplegic
“They pushed a big needle in my foot and they told my parents them that I won’t ever walk again. My mom started crying.”



“How old were you?”



“Twenty-one, just starting life, just got into my house, just got married, just got a new vehicle. Everything was just starting”


Jerome fell from a forty-foot high post. Life as he knew it would be changed forever. Where he once embraced being active and driving trucks, the consequence of his accident now has him confined to a wheelchair.

Jerome Flores
“In After a while I got a little bit down, I wouldn’t say depressed, but down because I used to be active. I had a normal life, do everything for myself, now I need help. In certain areas I need assistance so it got to me. Thankfully, my uncle Doyl Gillett, he had offered to let me go into the office and do a little paper work to fill out the weigh bills for the guys that get sand from him and that was really wonderful. That really helped me.”


But if you’re familiar with the story of Jerome Flores, paralysis was the catalyst to a man recognizing that his limits are only what he makes them to be. He rode alongside disabled riders with a hand peddling trike he built on his own—his way of advocating for the disabled community. It’s been a decade since Flores concluded his last awareness ride. We stopped in to see what life has been like for the man without limits.

Jerome Flores
“Because of my family, I think that had a big role and it’s a very important role and a lot of people seem to forget about it or miss it. If I didn’t have my family, I would have been more frustrated because I wouldn’t be getting things that would help me to get my mind distracted from it. Not being able to walk, you know how many people approach me or I know them and I talk to them, it’s always the one answer, “I think I would have already killed myself”. I’d say, but why would you think that. I am proof that if something bad happens and your life changes there is a way that you can still move forward. The thing is, the way I grew up, my parents always wanted me to do the best in whatever I do and I think I just transfer that in what I do with the furniture work. If it’s not perfect, I don’t want to give it to no one. I think that shows in my work and that’s why people come to me. Not to feel sorry for me because I’m in this situation but they see the quality of work that I provide. They love what they see so they come to me.”


Jerome is an example of adaptability and perseverance.  As an incapacitated man that builds furniture, he even helped in laying the foundation of his own home. And the quality of his work reflects the man and mindset. According to him, “There is nothing you cannot do.”


Jerome Flores

“I just want to encourage those who are in my situation and those who are not in my situation. Don’t let people tell you, you can’t. Anything is possible, once it’s something good in society. If you want to own a car, you work towards that. If you want to own a house, you work towards that. If you want to have your own business, it’s not impossible. If I could do it, anyone could do it.”


Looking on the bright side, I’m Sabreena Daly.


Jerome hopes to establish his business further that he is one day able to employ other disabled persons.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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