Gabriel Cordell (born Suheil Aghabi) was born in Tripoli, Libya in 1970. The Aghabi family immigrated to the United States in 1976, where they found their first home on Long Island, New York.
In 1992, two months after his 22nd birthday, Cordell was en route to his first professional audition when an accident changed his life forever. Only a mile and a half away from home, his Jeep was t-boned and flipped, and Cordell was ejected from his vehicle, hitting a telephone pole that crushed his spinal cord. The accident left him paralyzed from his mid-chest down.
After four months of recovery and physical rehabilitation at the Rusk Institute at New York University, Gabriel continued to pursue his dream of being an actor, now as a paraplegic. He established his acting career on stage and screen, with credits including Dexter, Numb3rs and Joan of Arcadia.
At the age of 42, Cordell focused on a different kind of role. He set out to become the first person to roll across the United States in a standard, manual wheelchair — a 3,100-mile journey from the Pacific to the Atlantic, the final destination being his hometown of West Hempstead, New York. The inspiring trek is the subject of an upcoming documentary film called, Roll With Me: A Journey Across America.
In 2014, Gabriel traveled to Israel and mounted a Roll for Peace between the Palestinians and Israelis, completing that 100km journey from Haifa to Tel Aviv in his wheelchair.
In 2015, he teamed with the North Shore Animal League America and Bianca's Furry Friends to raise money and awareness by rolling 123 miles across Long Island, New York.
As a motivational speaker, Gabriel Cordell finally gets to share his inspiring story of turning tragedy into triumph. His topics include, Finding Your Purpose, Embracing Your Circumstances and The Power of The Human Will.