As a person navigating the world on two wheels, there is something that can quickly disturb that peace: “I get so frustrated when people without handicaps park in the handicap slots. Especially when I need to get out [of my car] with my chair.” He drives with the assistance of special hand tools that he made for himself.
For Ingram, his path has led him to seek higher truths. “Once the initial shock of my incident passed, I decided that I would live a life defined by purpose, regardless of my circumstances,” he said. “My body was broken, but not my mind. I can deal with my body by doing those things that I know are correct. With paralysis, one key element in staying well is circulation. Each day I must incorporate activity to stimulate my circulatory system. Eating a well-balance diet is also important.” He also tries to stay positive emotionally. “So far, I have handled that with a simple formula: I am alive and God is showing me the way to roll with my life. I am blessed.” His strong spiritual foundation comes from family:
“My father, who is now deceased, was my rock. He was strict, but loving. When Mom needed help, he was right there. He taught me a lot about being a man, and how to survive. It’s ironic, because it was almost like he was preparing me to survive the shooting with all my thinking intact. Now, I really understand the importance of having a positive male role model. My father was all that, and then some.
“His father, my grandfather, was an ordained Bishop, and I credit him for the spirituality of the family. My younger sister, April, is preparing to go into ministry. So it’s still flowing.” He shares a special relationship with older brother, Prentess, as well.
It’s his mother and grandmother that he credits with instilling in him an understanding of what really matters. That grounding has helped him in his marriage to his wife, Latrina, whom he says keeps him centered. She works as a supervisor with Family Intervention Projects throughout the metro Atlanta area; she is also legally blind. They make the relationship work by sharing daily experiences and maintaining a commitment to make honesty a priority. They definitely plan a family in the future.
In the meantime, he mentors other people’s children, particularly young men who are, like he once was, vulnerable to the tug of the streets.
“I have a lot of children that I have either ‘adopted’ or they have ‘adopted’ me,” he says, then adds, “it’s all about love.”
Says Ingram’s soul mate, Latrina: “My husband gives the word ‘perseverance’ new depth and his determination is habitual and contagious.”
Put another way: Marcus “ChairKrazy” Ingram is an indomitable spirit with the aura of success swirling all around him.
by Patricia G. Pope
Patricia G. Pope is the author of the award winning novel, Colored Waiting Room and a freelance writer. She lives in Powder Springs, GA.
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Laura Innes -- Interview
Ricky James Still Zooming Ahead
Hans Keirstead — Stem Cell Pioneer
Call Me Chairkrazy: The Marcus Ingram Story
Will Downing -- Will Power
UCP Life Without Limits
Raytheon Rhodes To Independence
Betsy Valnes Sticks and Stones
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