Wheel World News Issue 46 July - Page 9

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My advice for a newly injury person is to be an advocate for self and not gie up.

into a tree, crushing the roof of the car down onto me, which crushed 2 vertebrae in my back and severed my spinal cord at T5-6. A hunter heard the crash and called paramedics, which arrived very quickly. I spent 5 days in an intensive care unit and then 6 weeks in a rehab hospital in Grand Rapids, MI (only about 45 minutes from my hometown) called Mary Free Bed Rehab. Hospital.

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quickly. I spent 5 days in an intensive care unit and then 6 weeks in a rehab hospital in Grand Rapids, MI (only about 45 minutes from my hometown) called Mary Free Bed Rehab Hospital.

I started into wheelchair sports right away. I began wheelchair racing first thing and entered my first road race about 5 months after my date of injury. I raced for about 2 years and switched to basketball my senior year of high school. That year my junior league team, the Grand Rapids Junior Pacers, won the national championship. I moved to AZ in 1998 and began playing for the

1998 and began playing for the Phoenix Suns’ team not too long after. I have dabbled in pretty much every wheelchair sport and even some unorthodox sports (scuba diving, rock climbing, and skydiving) and now have a major passion for hand-cycling. I road raced in multiple marathons and half marathons around the country for about 6 years and over the last year began off-road riding and down-hilling.

I have taught hand-cycling at clinics for various organizations in California and Arizona for 5 years and also started a program over in China, called Krankin’ Thru China, with a good friend of mine who lives there. Our core group even rode hand-cycles across China over the last 5 years (about 3500 miles) camping in tents along most of the route.

I recently started working for Arizona State Parks & Trails as the ADA Intern. I was hired back in February of 2019 to help update and expand the accessibility of the entire Parks system from their facilities to their trails and even events and programs presented at the parks.