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Apple Valley native the opening night star at Twin Cities disabilities film festival


A disabled athlete who overcame incredible odds to distinguish himself in the sports world will be in the spotlight at a film festival starting in the Twin Cities on Thursday.

Joe Stone, an Apple Valley native, is the subject of "It's Raining, So What," a documentary showing on opening night of the ReelAbilities Minneapolis-St. Paul film festival.

The event features films whose themes focus on people with disabilities and the challenges they face, according to the ReelAbilities website.

"It's Raining" documents Stone's attempt to become the first quadriplegic to finish the IRONMAN triathlon, a one-day competition that includes a swim race, a bike race and a marathon, the event's website indicates.

Ironically, it was another documentary – "Murderball," about a wheelchair rugby star – that inspired Stone to overcome the accident that left him paralyzed, according to the Pioneer Press.

"I saw it 3-and-a-half months after my accident, and it turned around my whole state of mind," he told the paper, also saying he wanted to share what he's learned about following one's passions and helping "people along the line."

Stone became a quadriplegic after a devastating speed flying accident in August 2010, according to his website.

Aside from having conquered his injuries to find a new life as an athlete, he has since become a public speaker whose talks provide a "unique first-hand perspective on what it is like when your life changes in an instant."

Stone now lives in Montana but will attend at the festival for an advance screening of the documentary, WCCO reports.

Among the other films and documentaries being shown in the festival is "My Last Breath" – the story of Josh LaRue of Garrison, Minnesota, who died from asthma in 1992 at the age of 18 but lived a life of "perseverance and positivity."

You can learn more about the film by clicking here, and check out show times and ticket information here.

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