Zack Collie shares videos on his YouTube channel, (Zack Collie) about his everyday life with a spinal cord injury. Zack was injured in an accident at the beach. He sustained a C4 incomplete spinal cord injury.
“My main goal is to spread awareness and education about people with spinal cord injuries.”
Zack has been making videos for his YouTube channel for one year. He says he did not expect his channel to grow and get the amount of recognition it has in such a short period of time.
Zack states, “A few years ago I had the idea of starting my own channel but kept putting it off. It was always in the back of my head. I wanted to make videos showing people how I get dressed, how I shower, feed myself, everyday life things being a quadriplegic. Everyone always sees me ready and dressed for the day but no one knows the work that goes into getting me that way. I wanted to make videos showing the behind the scenes. At the time there were no videos on YouTube from actual quadriplegics.”
Zack admits his process for making videos is not very creative. He enjoys making fun and entertaining videos. However, Zack always brings his content back to one purpose. “I like to keep the majority of my videos educating and motivating others who are also injured or able-bodied people who are curious and uneducated,” he says.
“I would not be where I am today without the community I have. It makes a difference having other people who you can talk to or ask any questions you might have.”
Zack’s channel is full of positivity. However, he has experienced negativity from some viewers. He states, “I have experienced a good amount of negativity on my channel. There are always going to be negative people out there who are jealous and spread hate because of it. I do my best to not let their comments get to me. I am usually pretty good about it. As soon as I see a negative comment I will scroll right past and not finish reading it. I don’t give them my time of day. If a comment does offend me I allow myself to feel those feelings and after a few minutes I move on because there is so much more positivity from my supporters and all their love outweighs the negativity.”
Zack gives the following advice for someone who is newly injured: “Don’t give up! Don’t lose hope! Get connected with others who have already gone through what you are going through. Join support groups or online forums. That has helped me a lot. Also, having support from my family and community. For me personally, this injury is a mental game. I lost so much and it is easy to focus on that. If I focus on myself I will grow, if I focus on the crap in my life the crap will grow. It takes hope and perseverance to focus on the things I can still do and accomplish. I also think of all the people out there who have it worse than I do and that helps me to continue moving forward.”
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