HENDERSON, KENTUCKY — Vincent Robinson pushes his wheelchair along the side of Old Highway 41 in Kentucky. It’s day 30 of his journey, one that started in Atlanta and will end in Chicago.
“I was afraid to tell anyone because God said, ‘Go,’ and I was like, ‘Aw man, these people gonna think I’m crazy!'” he said.
His journey is more than 700 miles long, but while Chicago may be his destination, it isn’t his goal. His mission is to spread a message to end the violence.
“Domestic violence, gun violence, street violence, gang violence, any type of violence you can think of, I’m just trying to bring a half to that, a cease to that,” he said.
Robinson’s story starts from his childhood growing up in the projects of Atlanta.
“What I saw when I walked out my door at 6, 7, 8 years old was drug dealers, pimps, gangbangers,” he said.
He said he soon fell into the lifestyle, making his first drug deal when he was 11 years old. He said his life almost came to an end when he was 20.
“A guy walked up to me with a street sweeper where I was born and raised and pointed this street sweeper at my groin area and pulled the trigger,” he said.
The shooting put him in a coma and led to him losing his legs, amputated to stop an infection.
“I don’t want anybody, not one single person, to go through this,” he said. “I’m in this the rest of my life until the day I die. I’ll never walk again, and I don’t wish this on anybody – even the person who put me in that situation.”
Now he’s traveling with his uncle following close behind.
“That’s my nephew,” Freddy Handspike, Robinson’s uncle, said. “I love him and I’d do anything for him.”
He hopes to help his nephew urge people to stop hurting one another and to love instead.
“People out there now, especially young kids out here don’t realize how important life is,” Handspike said. “It seems like they don’t even care no more.”
“I feel like if we can all love one another, come together and love one another, tap into that love we already have, that were were born with, this world would be a beautiful place,” Robinson said.