Chris Seibel couldn't stand up three years ago. But on Wednesday, he walked into the facility without help.
"I can't believe we're here, it's incredible," Siebel said. "It's happening in a very short time."
Seibel, who submitted a video to ABC7 nominating the Be Perfect Foundation for the station's Pay It Forward campaign, ended up in a wheelchair after being in an ATV accident. Thanks to the Be Perfect Foundation and its extraordinary founder, Hal Hargrave Jr., Seibel was given a chance to walk again.
Once a sports star, Hargrave also saw his life change with a traffic accident that broke his neck. He started a rehab center at the Claremont Club inside a racquetball court, but ran out of space. He dreamed of building a bigger center nearby.
That became ABC7's first ever Pay It Forward story. We were surprising nonprofits with $7,000 at the time.
"After people saw the Pay It Forward piece, I think they were moved," Hargrave said. "We had a lot of phone traffic from potential donors wanting to get involved."
Hargrave has raised nearly $2 million and his dream is now a reality.
The new facility will allow at least double or triple the clients like 6-year-old Johnny Williams, who is re-learning to walk after myelitis paralyzed him.
"For us, it means hope that there's a chance that my son could walk again," said the boy's mother, Danielle Williams of Alta Loma.
The facility is a partnership between Project Walk and the Be Perfect Foundation.
"When I look at this now and I see all the great people around me and the people I've met, I think now more than ever it makes sense why my accident happened," Hargrave said. "I get to wake up every day and I'm proud to be who I am, I'm proud to say I know these people, I'm proud to say we're going to keep moving forward, one step at a time."