Fred Meyling: Experience Makes a Difference

April 22, 2017
Quite some time ago, in 1976, Fred Meyling had a terrible accident when he fell from a roof and broke his back. That came immediately after he had received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army. The resultant spinal cord injury left him disabled for a time, wheelchair-bound. In a way, he was lucky because, after several years of medical treatment and intense physical therapy, he was once again able to walk.

Until 1984, Fred Merlina believed that he had been cured. However, that year, as he was on his porch moving an empty plastic trash can, he made a twisting motion that put him back in the hospital for several months. What Fred’s injuries made clear that having a disability was very difficult. Employers too often assumed that someone in a wheelchair was incapable of doing most jobs. That led him to start several small businesses just to make ends meet. In the intervening years, Fred has worked with non-profit groups with a mission of helping the disabled. He has made a significant difference in that time, while he also managed to do things he had always dreamed of for himself, like learning to fly planes.