Andy Phelps tells story of life after accident EVART \u2014 Returning from the Mecosta-Osceola Career Center on Nov. 20, 1998, four 16-year-old Evart High School students excitedly \u201ctook air\u201d while driving on 18 Mile Road, near 120th Avenue, in Mecosta County. The car left the roadway and struck a tree. Two of the young passengers died. Andy Phelps, survived. His neck was broken, he was paralyzed, but he survived. Then he struggled. Every day. Every hour. Every second was a stuggle. For months he lived, thrived, lapsed, improved, drifted back and pushed forward in hospitals and rehabilitation facilities. With community prayers uplifting the young man and his family, the recovery continued for months and years. Finally, with unflagging determination, Phelps left the hospital, graduated from EHS and began a new life. Years later, he returned to the high school to offer one of the most inspiring commencement address speakers in the school district\u2019s history. Making plans for a new life Today, Phelps lives a productive and enthusiastic life, but remains in a wheelchair. His wheelchair will be a lifelong reality. \u201cThough I eventually regained movement in my arms, my hands and legs remain paralyzed,\u201d he said. \u201cI have not juggled, played hockey or built a single thing out of wood in 14 years.\u201d And that says a lot. On Nov. 19, 1998, Phelps was a skilled juggler, a talented hockey player and a gifted woodworker. One day later that life completely changed and he began a journey imagining, creating, developing and maintaining an entirely new life. This journey has become the focus of a new film documentary short entitled \u201cJuggle and Cut.\u201d \u201cI believe I have a story to tell. Part of the story is told in this documentary,\u201d Phelps said. \u201cThis film has already been largely completed. Now, we are exploring ways to get the movie distributed to film festivals and other events on the art circuit.\u201d The director, Caleb Slain, was a 2008 student in a film class Phelps taught at Compass College of Cinematic Arts in Grand Rapids. Slain, a Grand Rapids native, has been internationally recognized for his skilled storytelling in both short films and commercials. At 19, Slain directed \u201cLost and Found Shop,\u201d for which he received the \u201cBest Young Filmmaker Award\u201d at Corona's Fastnet Festival in Ireland. He later directed the short documentary \u201cIt Ain\u2019t Over,\u201d a documentary short on the life of Grand Rapids Pastor Ed Dobson, who retired from a highly-influential ministry following his diagnosis with Lou Gherig\u2019s disease. The short film premiered at the South By Southwest film festival in 2012, and was recently accepted as an entry in the Telluride Film Festival. Slain\u2019s profile documentary on the life of Phelps following his accident is sensitive and moving. \u201cCaleb\u2019s work is incredibly sincere,\u201d said Phelps. \u201cI believe he will become a household name before he\u2019s 30-years old.\u201d The \u201cJuggle and Cut\u201d team are actively raising funds through Kickstarter \u2013 an Internet site described as \u201ca funding platform for creative projects. Everything from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology.\u201d Started in 2009, Kickstarter has raised over $350 million in pledges by people around the globe willing to help fund creative projects. Donors \u201cback\u201d a project and offer support to see it through to fruition. No money is actually collected from pledges until all the money needed has been committed. If the financial goal named in the project isn\u2019t reached, no one is charged. No money is \u201clost\u201d by any investor since none was actually collected is the goal is not met. To finish the Phelps\u2019 project, a goal of $13,000 was set. To date, nearly half that amount has been raised \u2013 $6,015 pledged by 36 backers. There are less than two weeks to go. \u201cI\u2019m hoping we can get people to back this project,\u201d Phelps said. \u201cWe have done a lot of work trying to get Caleb\u2019s film ready for the film festival circuit. We will really appreciate any help we can get.\u201d As Phelps works to help bring Slain\u2019s film project to a successful conclusion, he also continues work on his book, \u201cIt Never Ends.\u201d \u201cFor the past two years I\u2019ve been working on this book,\u201d Phelps reports. \u201cI am about four chapters away from handing the entire work over to my editor. We hope to publish in the spring.\u201d The two projects, the documentary and book, will both benefit from funding through the same Kickstarter drive. To get more information, or to kick in a donation pledge, see www.kickstarter.com\/projects\/andyphelps\/juggle-and-cut.