New Personal Record
November 05, 2016
BENEFITING: Achilles International Inc.
EVENT DATE: Nov 05, 2016
Dear friends, family, and colleagues, As many of you already know, this has been an extremely turbulent year to say the least. At the end of this past February, 2016, my life was nearly cut short after being involved in a near fatal accident while on the way home from work, whereby I underwent countless surgeries and successful bi-lateral below knee amputations. I have fought relentlessly over the past six months to rehabilitate myself both physically and mentally. Over the past 8 weeks, I have been fitted with prosthetic legs and re-learned how to walk with a near perfect gait. I have been able to overcome an immense obstacle through the power of hard work, motivation, positivity, my family and friends, and by always remembering the ever-indelible words of the great NC State basketball coach Jim Valvano, as he battled terminal bone cancer: “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.”
Whether you are aware or not, each and every one of you have played a distinct role in my recovery, whether it be: caring for me or visiting me in the hospital, sending get-well cards, or even reaching out to me and simply asking about my day; all of your positive energy has lifted me to a level of appreciation for life greater than any time prior to my accident.
Now it's time for us to give back to the folks that help stories such as mine become reality! I am participating in my first 5K with my new prosthetic legs and am raising money for an awesome organization that has become another family for me during my recovery. Achilles International provides athletes with disabilities with a community of support. Able-bodied volunteers and disabled runners come together to train in an environment of support and community. Within this community, runners gain measurable physical strength and build confidence through their sense of accomplishment, which often transfers to other parts of their life. This great organization has already given me the opportunity to get back into my favorite physical activities that I have enjoyed my whole life by loaning me a hand cycle to ride, and I am extremely grateful for that.
In addition, the day of the race (November 5th, 2016) marks what would have been my grandmother Joan's 81st birthday. For those who did not know her, she was my best friend in the world. We lost her last fall to an extremely difficult 5 year battle with dementia. I cannot think of a better way of celebrating her birthday than demonstrating how many obstacles I have hurdled and challenges I have conquered this past year.
Thank you for your kind donations, and please pass along to any friends and family who have heard my story and would like to donate. I hope to see you at the finish line on November 5th on West Drive and 67th street in Central Park either as a participant or as an observer.
Here is the link to sign up http://www.nyrr.org/races-and-events/2016/nyrr-dash-to-the-finish-line-5k.
"Each Morning we are born again. What we do today matters most." -Buddha