RIDER & MEDIA KIT
Download Wesley’s full Rider & Media Kit, or find select items in the options below.
Wesley Hamilton was born and raised on the east side of Kansas City, Mo., where it was difficult for a young African American male to find opportunity outside of the streets. By the age of 16, he became too much for his mother to handle (which was a common lifestyle for kids in his neighborhood) and moved out to be on his own. By the age of 22, he became a father to his daughter, Nevaeh.
Two years later, at only 5-foot-4 and 230-pounds, Wes was non-athletic and vastly overweight as a single father, working full time at an auto finance company and had just won sole custody of his then 2- year-old daughter. But only 5 days after his 24th birthday (January of 2012), everything about Wes’s life changed dramatically. As he was walking back to his car, Wes was shot multiple times, with one bullet slicing through his chest and fracturing a rib. The other entered his abdomen, partially severing his spine and paralyzing him below the waist. The shooter was a guy he’d never met.
Wes spent the next three years in recovery, which also included two of those years fighting the severe emotional depression that arose from his belief that his life would forever be bedeviled by medications, surgeries, and limitations.
But for the overwhelming love he had for his daughter, Wes knew he had to set an example for Nevaeh. He started down a path of taking ownership back in his life. He started a fitness and nutrition regiment, which was completely foreign to him – as he never ate healthy a day in his life, nor had any experience exercising. Wes learned everything he could about nutrition and started cooking (and now is known for his culinary skills). The fitness side of everything also took off, and in the first year led him to lose 100 pounds – which is incredible, especially for a man who doesn’t have the use of his legs. He became a powerhouse of inspiration and felt his transformation had the potential to help others who are struggling similar battles, so he founded a non-profit called, Disabled But Not Really (DBNR). DBNR has helped so many individuals with disabilities (not just physical) to feel empowered and has helped so many lives overcome any mental limitations they may have – which is the driving force of the organization.
The passion Wes has for DBNR is passion for DBNR is evident by its expansion. DBNR joins community events to raise awareness about the role of good mental and physical health in overcoming life’s challenges. It has expanded a scholarship program for disabled individuals who learn ways to improve their nutrition and fitness, as well as support the homeless population in his hometown of Kansas City providing dignity care packages, water, and food. Wes has been recognized many times for his entrepreneurial success and has been honored with a number of philanthropic awards.
Wes has also spent the past four years being recognized role-model in the Crossfit Community, winning a number of bodybuilding competitions, even being featured in Men’s Health Magazine climbing a rope with his wheelchair. He has had the opportunity to speak to many community groups, schools, universities, organizations, and associations sharing his story and inspiring so many lives. He has a stack of hero letters from all ages thanking him for sharing his story. Wes transformed yet again when working with the Fab Five on Season 4 of the Netflix hit show, Queer Eye, who taught him how to be true to himself, leaving him humbled by the experience. Wes believes that the highest human act is to inspire – and knows that is his purpose in life.
Wesley Hamilton’s journey after surviving multiple gunshots in his abdomen will inspire every human on the earth. His quintessential stories of courage, strength and perseverance resonates with participants long after any talk he’s ever delivered. Wes instills the essential tools of positivity, self- awareness, empowerment, resilience, and acceptance in the face of any challenge. He believes “the highest human act is to inspire” – and that is exactly why he is profoundly affecting human hearts of all ages, races, lifestyles and backgrounds worldwide.
Wes shares one of the most powerful stories on the premiere of the hit show on Netflix’s Season 4 of Queer Eye (airing July 19, 2019), and has been featured countless times in the media, including CNN, ABC News, BBC, CNN, CTV and TMZ.
For all education, public and larger events Wesley speaks at, he requests you hire an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter for his presentation. The commitment to diversity and inclusivity is a core value for Wesley — and he wants to make sure every individual in his audience will have the same opportunity to hear his presentation no matter their disability or circumstance.
FOOD & BEVERAGE:
When traveling, if Wesley is picked up from his hotel (any time prior to 7:00 PM), he requests an iced caramel latte with almond milk. If Wesley is speaking during (or close to) a meal time, please provide the following healthy snacks in the green room or available for when he is doing his audio & sound check: fruit (apples or oranges), rice cakes (caramel or chocolate) and chocolate covered almonds.
TRAVEL COSTS – TWO OPTIONS:
• OPTION #1. REIMBURSED TRAVEL POST EVENT:
Travel will either be reimbursed post event (receipts included) for first -class airfare for two (2), meals for two (2), and any other reasonable incidentals. All ground transportation and lodging must be arranged and paid for by Client prior to event
• OPTION #2. TRAVEL BUY-OUT:
Client can pre-pay a travel buy-out of $2,500.00 USD plus lodging and ground transportation. Travel buy-out will cover airfare for two (2), meals & incidentals. All ground transportation in host city and lodging for two (2) must be arranged and paid for by Client prior to event.
For all continental USA flights, Wesley requires first-class airfare for two (2).
Meals to be covered for two (2) people.
Client to arrange ground transportation by either picking up Wesley & guest at the airport or by hiring a car service. Wesley’s wheelchair does collapse down and fits into most trunks – but please allow for the additional room. He will also need ground transportation arrangements from the hotel to the venue if his lodging is off-site. We request to have these travel arrangements made and sent (along with confirmation numbers and instructions) at least two (2) weeks prior to the event date.
Please reserve two (2) hotel rooms per night. One (1) room must be an accessible room for Wesley. The second room can be a standard hotel room. Pending final travel arrangements, please make the room reservations for the amount of days Wesley will be in town (pending final agenda and travel schedule). Please also request a guaranteed late check-in for both rooms when making the reservations. We request the reservations to be made and sent (along with confirmation numbers) at least two (2) weeks prior to the event date. Hotel room should be charged to master bill.
PLEASE NOTE WESLEY IS IN A WHEELCHAIR AND WILL REQUIRE ACCESSIBILITY
- Ramp for stage – with accessibility throughout the room, stage & green room (if applicable)
- Lavalier MicrophoneScreen
- LCD Projector
- PowerPoint Clicker
- Wesley’s PowerPoint will need audio connection. There will also be videos played
- Small table with 2-3 bottles of natural spring water
Wesley travels with someone to help him, who also serves as his videographer. Wesley’s
presentation will be video recorded, but there will not be any additional audio-visual requirements – his videographer will bring all necessary equipment with them.
Wesley Hamilton – Heartbeat Logo – Blue & Gray on White
Wesley Hamilton – Heartbeat Logo – Black on Transparent
Disabled But Not Really Logo – Green & Blue on Transparent
Disabled But Not Really Logo – Black on Transparent
DISABLED BUT NOT REALLY IS A FOUNDATION FOUNDED BY WESLEY HAMILTON. IT’S A 501(C)3 ORGANIZATION PROVIDING EQUAL ACCESS TO THE UNDERSERVED DISABLED COMMUNITY; THROUGH PROGRAMS THAT FOCUS ON FITNESS, WELLNESS, AND MENTAL HEALTH.
Wesley states, “Disabled But Not Really (DBNR) advocates for the disabled community by raising awareness about Spinal Cord Injury (SCI), promoting mental and physical wellness, and engaging diverse audiences through local and national events. People deserve to know they are more than their circumstances. As founder of Disabled But Not Really (DBNR), I’m shaking things up in the world of disability awareness and adaptive fitness. Those with disabilities need encouragement to move past their physical and mental challenges — our dreams matter too.”
DBNR MISSION & VALUES
Our mission is to instill in those with disabilities, a physically limitless mindset that breeds courage, confidence, and competence. Our core beliefs are in promoting fitness, providing the opportunity to become productive and self-serving while gaining the knowledge necessary for a living a nutritional lifestyle.
At Disabled But Not Really, we believe that our horizon is only as far as we accept it to be. Our vision is to create an environment where anyone with a disability can find a safe place for growth. We intend to develop facilities where not only our adaptive athletes can learn, grow, and thrive, but their families, spouses, and caregivers can as well.
“People deserve to know they are more than their circumstances.” – Wes Hamilton