NEW YORK, NY -- The Axis Project, founded by George Gallego and Danniel Swatosh, is a trailblazing gym that provides resources, scholarships, and programs for people with disabilities as well as seniors. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the Axis Project was designed to ensure people with disabilities and anyone who has been newly injured or recovering from surgery would keep the gains they made during whatever physical therapy was covered by insurance.
"When it comes to rehab or occupational therapy, there is a maximum number of visits that the individuals are allowed. So usually when someone completes their therapeutic period, they end up regressing. At the Axis Project, since we focused on health and wellness as well as fitness, these visits are not charged against the insurance companies as physical therapy visits or occupational therapy so we're able to ensure they keep their gains over time," Gallego explained.
Forced to close during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Axis Project needed a way to reopen in celebration. So, they decided to throw an all-inclusive, all-bodies welcome roller-skating party at the center of Rockefeller Plaza - Flipper's Roller Boogie Palace. The RollOut Jam was a huge event highlighting a diverse blend of talent, including DJs, dancers, songwriters, podcasters, and other outstanding members of the disability community.
"We need to see other people like us, going out, living their lives, having fun, doing normal things so that more people can come out and feel comfortable within themselves," explained Frenchy Cheatham, one of the co-hosts of the RollOut Jam.
"It gave us an opportunity to show the world who we are and what we're made of, that we're just like everyone else. We wanted to use Rockefeller Center as a stage to show how inclusive communities can actually be," said Gallego.