Paralyzed Man Spends Thanksgiving as Volunteer - 8 News NOW

Paralyzed Man Spends Thanksgiving as Volunteer

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Brian Blum, wheelchair-bound for 13 years, decided to spend his Thanksgiving volunteering at a dinner for homeless students and their families. Brian Blum, wheelchair-bound for 13 years, decided to spend his Thanksgiving volunteering at a dinner for homeless students and their families.

LAS VEGAS -- Nursing home residents got to spend time with their loved ones, thanks to American Medical Response's longtime Home for the Holidays program.

The ambulance company, also known as AMR, drives residents to see their families free of charge, but this year, one resident decided to volunteer his time instead.

Supervisor Zack Ratner-Miller works every Thanksgiving helping others. For 12 years, he has taken patients home for the day, but this trip is a first.

Brian Blum isn't going to see family, instead he wanted to give back to the community.

Blum is taking a ride to Cimarron-Memorial High School, where he will help with the school's Thanksgiving dinner for homeless students and their families.

"I just wanted to come and volunteer my time for the less fortunate people, and making it a better thanksgiving for them," Blum said.

Blum said he is thankful he is alive.

"I got paralyzed March 15, 2000, in a real bad car accident," he said. "I broke my neck in four places."

Wheelchair-bound for the past 13 years, Blum guides his life with a positive, appreciative attitude.

"You got to keep your head up because what's being depressed or being down, what's that going to do for you?" he said.

Blum said he is blessed to greet guests at Cimarron-Memorial, the first face they see, as he helps to make their holiday special.

"That's what I want to do, is give back to my community," he said.

Ratner-Miller said he is glad to help make it happen.

"This is an enjoyable time for me because I get to see the happiness of the individuals that we pick up," he said.

On this holiday for sharing and spreading happiness, Blum said he counts his blessings and is ready to serve others.

"I still got things to live for and still got a lot to accomplish in life," he said. "This ain't over for me. This is just a start."

This year AMR's Home for the Holidays program transported 10 nursing home patients, and hundreds of Las Vegas area families have been served over the years.

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