Dillon Cannon is no average SCCA member.
Serving as an Army Specialist in Iraq, Cannon’s life changed forever on Dec. 29, 2006. "I got shot in the neck by a sniper," Cannon told KTRK-TV, an ABC affiliate in Houston, TX. "[A] bullet entered the front of my throat and exited the back. Whenever it entered my body, it missed all my arteries, hit my C6 and C7 vertebrae, shattered both of those vertebrae, and the bone fragments hit my spinal cord and caused it to swell, which left me paralyzed from mid-chest down."
Cannon’s journey since then has been varied, from a decade of unemployment while battling depression to meeting the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush. Most recently, Cannon has been working at MSR Houston as the parts manager for the Angleton, TX, racing facility. There, a non-profit called Hands on Driving Academy was started, which places people with disabilities behind the wheel of one of several hand-control-equipped race cars the track owns.
Cannon also obtained his SCCA competition license and most recently competed in B-Spec in the Texas Region Labor Day Triple at MSR Houston.
"One of the ways to describe how you feel on the racetrack is 90 percent of your daily life is spent in a wheelchair. So whenever you can get out of that wheelchair, you feel that independence back," Cannon said in the KTRK interview. "You don't feel like you're in a wheelchair. You feel normal."
The original story can be found on KTRK-TV ABC 13's website, with the video available below.
Photo courtesy ABC 13 KTRK-TV