Home · Articles ·Norm Coone: Freedom on wheels

Norm Coone: Freedom on wheels

If you saw Norm Coone sitting behind his desk at Wells Fargo, a vice president within the Technology and Operations Group, you'd think, "This guy has it all." And you'd be right - almost.

Coleman lost both legs to vascular disease, the first at age 26 and the second at age 31. He's had multiple recurrences of various cancers and lost part of a lung. "Doctors told me a number of times there was nothing more they could do for me," he says. "But I kept going." Once an electrician with a degree in electronics, he lost the physical ability to do that job, so he went back to school and earned a degree in computer programming.

For years, he resisted using a wheelchair. "I used artificial legs as best I could," he says. At 39, when he needed to build stamina and strength to reenter the workforce, he started swimming at Courage Center. "That's where I learned the fun of playing wheelchair basketball and softball," he says. "It was the best attitude adjustment I ever made."

Now 56, Coone has been with Wells Fargo for 15 years, managing people and projects across the country, traveling for work and pleasure. "A wheelchair makes all the difference in the world," he says. He has added mono-skiing and handcycling to the sports he enjoys. He's also involved with Operation Liberty, a Courage Center program that offers adventures to veterans with disabilities. He volunteers with Courage Center and participates in the Courage Center Business Advisory Council.

"Without Courage Center opening doors for me," he says, "my life would be much more difficult. Courage Center has given me freedom: freedom to ride on wheels, to travel, to move without a great deal of pain. That's life-changing."