Passionate. Determined. Charismatic. These are the words that define Jose Luis Guitierrez. To meet him is to love him. His joy for life shines through as he shares his abilities with the world. He works every day to show people that being disabled does not take away one’s right to MOVE FORWARD with their dreams.
However, this has not always been the case. In 2011, Jose Luis Gutierrez was a regular 16-year-old kid pursuing his passions and dreaming of a career in physical education. One day, he was on his motorcycle and heading to his friend’s house when a car coming in the wrong direction slammed into him and violently changed the trajectory of his life.
In the moments lying there after the accident, Jose recalls people taking out their phones to record a video of the aftermath. He was lying on the asphalt, fighting for his life, and bystanders just watched and recorded. Eventually, a young man stepped in to help. He held Jose in his arms and took him to the hospital. Jose believes that the young man saved his life.
In the months and years after the incident, Jose fell into a deep state of depression. The entire recovery process was incredibly traumatic and often felt like more than Jose could endure. At 16, believing he would never walk again, Jose attempted suicide twice. His family had limited resources, and providing him with the proper help and prosthetics to get him back to a balanced life was a challenge.
Eventually, Jose connected with a community of other amputees who encouraged him to find joy in what he could do, rather than focus on what he could not. From there, Jose began dancing again. He moved forward with a spark for life and trained hard so that he could share his talents with the world. He began participating in swimming, gymnastics, artistic dancing, aerial fabric, and aerial cube performance. He also trained in aerial rope and circus disciplines.
These skills led him to try out for Got Talent España and Dominicana’s Got Talent. His auditions and subsequent performances moved the judges and audience to tears. His participation on the show inspired many other individuals with disabilities to pursue their dreams as well. Today, he continues to work hard to inspire others through volunteering at local schools and community events.
Jose required a prosthetic leg with more functionality to allow him to truly reach his goals, and the healthcare community in his home of the Dominican Republic was unable to provide this leg to Jose. GIVABILITY was lucky enough to help Jose by purchasing him a Levitate running blade. He is now working on his goal of opening an art and sports academy to teach dance and circus discipline classes. He can now keep dancing, keep inspiring, and keep MOVING FORWARD.