Handicapped Heroes

-Despite childhood cancer and the amputation of his left leg, Zach Gowen defied all the odds and became the world’s first 1 legged pro wrestler by the age of 18.  Less than a year after his first official match, Zach signed a 3 year contract with the World Wrestling Entertainment due to the inherent marketability of being a 1 legged professional wrestler and soon became a proven TV ratings draw and instant inspiration to millions worldwide.  One of those inspired by Zach during this time was a 16 year old named Gregory Iron, who suffered from cerebral palsy.

-Greg experienced a lot of obstacles as a child as well.  Being a product of an abusive and broken home, he found (just like Zach) a much needed escape in the magical world of professional wrestling.  But the depression triggered from cerebral palsy was tightening it's grip on Greg and his future looked bleak.  All of that changed the first time he saw Zach Gowen wrestle on his television screen.  Almost instantly, a wave of a “if he can do it, I can do it” attitude washed over Greg and it was that moment the decision was made to follow his dreams and become a professional wrestler in spite of limited use of his right arm.  Greg’s story has been featured nationally on Fox and Friends, won an Emmy for Best Single Sports Story on Cleveland's WOIO-TV Channel 19 in 2012, and was even personally endorsed by WWE Champion CM Punk in the middle of a wrestling ring. 

-Fast forward to 2011 and Zach Gowen is at a crossroads.  While experiencing a new lease on life spiritually, mentally, and physically, his professional life was near extinct.  One night he was listening to a podcast that featured a Gregory Iron interview.  Greg spoke of how Zach influenced him at a young age and considers him a role model.  Just like Zach’s wrestling on TV inspired Greg to follow his dreams, hearing Greg’s interview inspired Zach to reach out and connect with Greg.  From this serendipitous moment, an idea was born: “what if Greg and Zach combine forces to be of better use in spreading hope and dropping seeds of inspiration to whomever may need it”?

-The Handicapped Heroes have been a tag team on the US and Canada independent wrestling scene for 3 years and have won the hearts of every audience they have performed in front of.   In addition to wrestling, they speak professionally at schools, work with anti-bullying campaigns, do philanthropic work with hospitals, and are the subject of a national TV news piece currently in production.  For these two, the whole is much bigger than the sum of the parts.    

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