Fred Meyling Overcomes Challenges in His Own Way

June 18, 2017
Fred Meyling once served in the U.S. Army with distinction. Soon after he received an honorable discharge, however, he fell from a roof and suffered a spinal cord injury that left him wheelchair-bound. Now, he could have chosen to give up and declare that the end of his life as he knew it, but instead, he worked to heal himself and within a few years he was walking again. Unfortunately, he re-injured his back again soon after. However, being confined to a wheelchair twice simply motivated Fred Meyling more than ever.

He couldn’t get a job, so he used the rejection he felt as motivation to start several businesses of his own, so that he could pay his bills. Now, over the course of the last 30 years or so, Fred Meyling has been working with non-profit groups who are determined to make those with disabilities feel like a part of society again. He also established a Handicap Services Department at Sun n Fun, and he used that opportunity to satisfy a dream he has always had, to fly. As a volunteer with Sun n Fun, he has flown many types of planes and he even works for their air operations and air show control. Fred Meyling has used his disability to make the best of his life and he will continue to do so.

Fred Meyling, the fighter

March 28, 2017
Some people get up, consistently, no matter what you throw at them. Fred Meyling is one of those men. And his current fight against the blood disorder hemochromatosis is just another moment where this courageous man continues to bravely look trouble in its face. Hemochromatosis notably produces too much iron within the body, and for Meyling, he faces hemoglobin levels that adversely affect his liver and his kidneys. Excess iron -- such as this, and in Meyling’s case as well -- can poison the organs and lead to other detrimental conditions. His particular treatment is a new unit of blood every few weeks, helping to cleanse his system as best as possible. Iron levels are often maintained in this manner, by removing blood from the body. Currently, Meyling and his devoted wife, Patty, are looking to relocate to a new home near the water because improved weather conditions -- including the elevation in these areas -- exacerbates the condition of hemochromatosis. And Fred Meyling is a fighter.

After all, this honorably discharged U.S. Army veteran fought back after suffering a spinal cord injury in June 1976. He was able to walk again for several years before a second injury. And even then, he didn’t let the SCI stop him. Rather, he turned toward volunteer efforts with numerous organizations, giving back to his community and also reaching many of his dreams including becoming a pilot and living on a boat for several years.

Helping the Disabled with Fred Meyling

December 13, 2016
Way back in June, 1976, Fred Meyling had a terrible accident when he fell from a roof and broke his back, leaving him with a spinal cord injury and confined to a wheelchair. After a few years in California, undergoing medical treatment and intense physical therapy, Fred Meyling began to walk. Unfortunately, in 1984, he was on his porch moving an empty plastic trash can and made a twisting motion that hurt his back again and put him back in the hospital for several months.

One thing Fred Meyling’s injuries made clear, however, was that having a disability was difficult. Finding work was almost as painful as the disability. Employers too often assumed that someone in a wheelchair was incapable of doing most jobs. The constant rejection, however, motivated him to start a number of small businesses just to make ends meet. In the subsequent three decades, Fred Meyling has chosen to work with non-profit groups, including Sun n Fun, where he fulfilled one of his greatest dreams, which was to fly. He continues his love of flight working in the areas of air operations and air show control. He even started the organization’s Handicap Services Department.

Disability or not, Fred Meyling has not allowed anything to slow him down. He has sailed both the west and east coasts of the United States because he also loves being on the water. In fact, some of his best times came when he lived on a boat and he hopes to do so again. A few years ago, Fred was diagnosed with the blood disorder Hemochromatosis, but even that won’t stop him. He hopes to move closer to the water because his condition is more easily treated at sea level.