Bay Area Rapper Paralyzed In Shooting Looks To Walk Again With New Device

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — Kafani was a rising star in the Bay Area rap scene. All of that came to a halt, when someone shot him five times while he was filming a music video in East Oakland.

The rapper became paralyzed from the chest down and is now confined to a wheelchair.

“Even though this is negative, I’m just trying to turn the negative into a positive,” Kafani told KPIX 5.

A device attached to his legs is what gives him the hope of soon regaining mobility. It’s called ReWalk Robotics, which helps paraplegics like Kafani stand up and walk.

The FDA recently approved it for in-home use, the first of its kind. And Kafani is the first in the Bay Area to use it. Problem is, the device and training costs $85,000 and is not covered by insurance.

“Almost unobtainable, unless you’re very, very wealthy.  And so what we’re trying to do is make it accessible,” said Naomi Davidson of the Trax Foundation. The group has partnered with Kafani to start a crowdfunding campaign, so he can take the device home.

It’s more than just physical. The device also gives him a psychological boost. “I feel more confident,  more amped up to be able to stand up and talk to you guys,” Kafani said.

Kafani is performing in his first concert since the shooting at a nightclub in San Jose on Friday night.

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