(CNN) -- Ray Duggan will be the first to tell you just how tough he was. Raised to never run from a fight, Duggan started running with a gang at 14.
With his father in prison and absent from his life, the gang was everything to Duggan.
"It gave me a sense of being," said Duggan, now 31.
Running with the Young Bloods in the West End neighborhood of Providence, Rhode Island, Duggan says he felt the need to prove himself.
"I had to make myself meaner and tougher," he said.
Ray Duggan was paralyzed after a bullet severed his spinal cord.
He got his first gun at 16 and admits "shooting people and running away from the police" were his adrenaline