NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – It’s called Split Second Fitness because that’s how quickly your life can change.

The first-of-its-kind gym was founded a few years ago, and it’s specifically for people who are living with disabilities from paralysis, stroke, or amputation.

The gym stays open with the help of donations.

On Saturday, the Split Second Foundation, which operates the gym, will be hosting their second annual Show of Love Gala in its mission to provide those living with disabilities access to programs and fitness.

Ray Walker works out at Split Second Fitness weekly.

Walker has been a client since 2021, a year after he was involved in a deadly car crash that left him paralyzed from the chest down.

“I was 18-years-old when that crash happened, and those 18 years just flashed within three to five seconds,” Walker recalled.

Mark Raymond, Jr., the founder and CEO of Split second Foundation, was inspired to help people like him a couple of years after a diving accident left him paralyzed.

Raymond says he realized resources were limited following a debilitating injury.

“It opened my eyes to how many other people have this same experience after going through a stroke or spinal cord injury, or amputation, being discharged from therapy and not having a place to continue your recovery and your rehabilitation journey,” Raymond said.

For just $50 a month, clients meet one-on-one with a trainer twice a week, giving people like Walker more than just physical strength.

“I kind of felt like I had hope, but I never knew Split Second would be that hope, and I’m kind of glad it is because I just love coming here,” Walker said.

For Raymond, that’s the reason for his work.

“Every time I walk into the gym, somebody’s like, ‘thank you.’ I think what we provide more than anything for people is hope,” Raymond said.

The Show of Love Gala is taking place Saturday at the Contemporary Arts Center. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets for the gala, as well as $25 raffle tickets to win a new car, can be purchased at

For more information about the foundation, visit their website.