For the Chiefs August 30th preseason game against the Green Bay Packers, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) and the Chiefs selected Wesley Hamilton, founder of the Kansas City nonprofit organization Disabled But Not Really (DBNR), as the Blue KC Chiefs Kingdom Champion. Prior to kickoff, Hamilton received on-field recognition and conducted the ceremonial first pass to Anthony Davis before touring the Chiefs broadcast booth and enjoying the game.
"I'm still speechless about it all," said Hamilton, who works daily to raise awareness about disabilities, promote mental and physical wellness, and engage the community through local and national events. "I've always been a die-hard Chiefs fan, and this is beyond my wildest dreams. I'm honored to be recognized."
After sustaining a traumatic spinal cord injury in 2012, Hamilton found himself as a single father in a wheelchair, battling obesity and feeling depressed. But inspired by his love for his daughter, Hamilton lost weight through fitness and good nutrition and realized an opportunity to help others experience the power of transformation through fitness. The result was DBNR.
"I realized I had potential to help others who may be in similar situations," said Hamilton, who has won a number of events as a wheelchair bodybuilder and adaptive cross fit athlete. "People deserve to know they are more than their circumstances. DBNR activities increase awareness, but most importantly, our expanding reach proves that individuals can be inspired and empowered to accomplish great things they didn't dare dream about before."
Founded in 2015, the mission of DBNR is to "instill into people with disabilities a physically limitless mindset that breeds courage, confidence, and competence," and it achieves this mission by providing equal access to the underserved disabled community through programs that focus on fitness, wellness and mental health.
For example, DBNR's #HelpMeFit Challenge is an eight-week scholarship program for adaptive and veteran athletes through which participants are led through a physical training program by Crossfit Memorial Hill and coached by Hamilton and Matt Scanlon, founder of The Hill Kansas City. Each participant is partnered with a volunteer mentor, who acts as a cheerleader to help them stay on track.
DBNR also leads community events such as Hydrate the Homeless, through which Hamilton and a team of volunteers distributes bottled water and care packages to the homeless community.
"Mental and physical health can present debilitating challenges, but our training, positivity, and guidance can lead to inspiring results," said Hamilton, who also shares his positive message as a motivational speaker. "DBNR events, scholarship programs and community service engage not only the disabled community but also that of the greater Kansas City metro. By empowering individuals in this way, DBNR is creating a ripple effect of positivity and growth."
Those who want to get involved with DBNR have several opportunities, including sponsoring #HelpMeFit Challenge athletes, participating in DBNR events and making financial contributions. Prospective volunteers are encouraged to visit the organization's website: disabledbutnotreally.org.
"Wesley Hamilton is an inspiring man who is doing incredible things for the Kansas City community," said Christina Lively, Blue KC's Department Vice President of Marketing and Communications. "His desire to see others achieve greatness is creating positive change and bringing inspiration to our community. We're proud to honor him as a Blue KC Chiefs Kingdom Champion."
To nominate a local hero like Wesley Hamilton to be recognized as a Blue KC Chiefs Kingdom Champion, visit chiefs.com/bluekc.