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Cottage Health premieres film featuring Grace Fisher

Cottage Health Film Screening
Blake DeVine/KEYT
The Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation presented the premiere screening of the original film "I Am My Power" on Thursday at the West Wind Drive-In Theater in Goleta.

GOLETA, Calif. — The Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation presented the premiere screening of the original film "I Am My Power" on Thursday night at the West Wind Drive-In Theater in Goleta.

The family-friendly movie shares the story of four inspiring individuals who face adversity, find their unique power, achieve success, and resolve to help others find and unleash their own powers. Santa Barbara native Grace Fisher is one of the individuals highlighted in the film.

Featured individuals in "I Am My Power" include:

Grace Fisher of Santa Barbara — At 17, Fisher had been accepted to the prestigious Berklee School of Music when she was struck by a rare polio-like disease that paralyzed her from the neck down. She spent months in a rehabilitation hospital, where she learned how to heal her soul through music therapy and adaptive art. When contacted by Make-A-Wish, instead of asking for something for herself, Fisher decided to create a foundation to help other disabled young people make music and art. In addition to leading the Grace Fisher Foundation, Grace is studying music composition at UCSB. Fisher’s inspiring story is told in the 2020 documentary "Amazing Grace."

Danny Gomez — Gomez is an actor and model who suffered a spinal cord injury that forced him to re-evaluate his life and goals. Through his fortitude and perseverance, he produced and starred in a number of award-winning short films for the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge annual competition, which has led to job opportunities, including a modeling campaign with Zappos Adaptive and a guest appearance on NBC's "New Amsterdam." He hopes to continue to be a positive force advocating for the disability community in the entertainment industry.

David Francisco — Francisco is an accomplished singer, songwriter, musician, producer, recording engineer and spinal cord injury survivor. Three weeks after moving to Nashville to attend the world-renowned Blackbird Academy, tragedy struck. In April 2016 while riding his bicycle, Francisco was hit by a distracted driver. His spinal cord was severely damaged and his left forearm badly injured. He spent a year in physical therapy and rehabilitation focused on regaining any mobility. He returned to Nashville nine months later and graduated from the Blackbird Academy. Soon after, he auditioned for "American Idol" and went all the way to Hollywood week.

Wesley Hamilton — Hamilton is an award-winning athlete, speaker, model and 2021 CNN Hero. Gunshot wounds left him with a spinal cord injury, in a wheelchair and deeply depressed. However, as a single father to a young daughter, he found his way out of depression through fitness and nutrition. He became empowered. He is the founder and executive director of the nonprofit Disabled But Not Really. The group works to bring positivity and hope to the disability community and beyond. DBNR joins community events to raise awareness about the role of good mental and physical health in overcoming life's challenges.

Nicole Evans — Evans is an actor, writer, and disability rights and inclusion activist. Born with osteogenesis imperfecta, she is a full-time wheelchair user. She was selected as one of the Top 20 Actors from Historically Underrepresented Communities in 2020 by the Casting Society of America. She can be seen in her recurring roles on "Good Trouble," "Superstore" and "Special." In 2019, she won Best Actor at the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge for her role as Dr. Hubbert in Human Helper. In 2019, the pilot script for this series, which she co-wrote with David Crabtree, was selected as one of the Top 10 scripts featuring a character with a disability on "The Black List." Evans is a graduate of the Gold Rising Program through the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital is dedicated to providing excellent care for survivors of stroke, brain and spinal cord injury, orthopedic injury and other conditions.

For more information on the CRH, you can click here.

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Blake DeVine

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