How Gary Fox turned adversity to drive in order to create One Arm Unlimited

How Gary Fox turned adversity to drive in order to create One Arm Unlimited

Gary Fox was involved in a traffic accident when he was 18 and lost the use of his right arm. Despite this, he went on to have a successful career in IT and created One Arm Unlimited to help people in similar situations live independent lives.

When faced with adversity, you can either raise the white flag and accept defeat or garner the courage to overcome whatever is holding you back. When Gary Fox was involved in a traffic accident when he was 18 years old and lost the use of his right arm, he chose to do the latter.

“The accident changed my whole outlook and I wanted to prove that I could do anything and I became very driven,” said Gary.

Now over 40 years later, Gary is confident and independent despite only having the use of one arm. But that wasn’t always the case. When he was first injured, he had understandable concerns such as, “How am I going to work? How will I complete day to day tasks? What will dating be like?”

Although he didn’t know it then, he would go on to conquer all his fears and achieve things he wasn’t even thinking about at the time. One of those achievements would be creating the website One Arm Unlimited, which features tutorials and products that make living with the use of one arm a little easier.

Gary Fox’s start to a successful career

Gary had a long and successful career before his One Arm Unlimited days. He started with an apprenticeship as a book binder which he began before the accident happened and continued after his recovery. Next, he worked in an office administration job and it is there that he met his wife to be. In the years that followed, Gary created a window cleaning company with a friend, started a Btech in Business Studies and even worked at McDonald’s for a period of time.

Upon completion of his studies, Gary started a sales admin role at a local distribution company. A trainee computer operator position became available which he applied for, however, the hiring manager was concerned he wouldn’t be able to complete the physical requirements.

Instead of accepting defeat, Gary went home that evening to work on adapting the tasks to his abilities. The next day, Gary said to the manager, “If I can prove I can do these tasks safely will you give me the job?”

The manager agreed and this position is what led him to eventually work at a global IT company for 22 years. He had a variety of roles, most notably running their European Data Centers and support teams.

It was in 2009 that Gary felt he needed a change and took a position with Transport for London where he developed an IT apprenticeship scheme from the ground up. “While there, I saw 25 young people complete the scheme and find full-time employment within Transport for London,” said Gary. “This was the proudest part of my career.”

In addition to his full-time career, Gary also did miscellaneous part-time work. He created a Greyhound magazine assisted celebrity guests, made appearances on TV, did voiceover for films and even managed a mobile disco alongside being a Chair of Governors at a special needs school.

The launch of One Arm Unlimited

In 2018, Gary decided to retire and began working on what is now One Arm Unlimited. The website has an extensive collection of video tutorials showing how to complete a variety of tasks with the use of only one arm.

Tutorials are available on the following topics:

  • Hygiene and dressing
  • Food preparation and eating
  • Motherhood
  • Day to day
  • DIY (coming soon)

There are videos demonstrating how to zipper a jacket, how to slice an onion and how to care for a baby among many others.

The website also has Independence Packs available for purchase, which includes helpful aids that promote independence. There is one designed specifically for people with short term impairments, such as a broken arm or wrist, and one for people with long term disabilities such as accidents, strokes, or arthritis.

Some of the items the packs include are:

  • Ring Pull Can Opener
  • Rocker Knife
  • Dressing Stick
  • Nail Brush with Suction Holder
  • Food Workstation
  • Plaster Cast Shower Protector

Not only are these products helpful, but 10% of the net profit is split between the charities Help For Heroes, Stroke Association, Silver Line and The Thalidomide Trust as well!

While there are other videos and products like this elsewhere on the internet and in catalogues, they are often across multiple channels and difficult to find if you don’t know what you’re looking for. This is why Gary decided to bring his 40 years of experience living with the use of one arm to one place.

“Most of all we want to teach people that independence is achievable although you have a disability,” said Gary. “Never be afraid to be out there, never hide your disability.”

For more information on One Arm Unlimited, visit www.OneArmUnlimited.com or email onearmunlimited@gmail.com

Written by Shannon Kelly on behalf of One Arm Unlimited

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