Tag: Adaptive Sports
Wheelchair rugby is a high-octane team contact sport changing the lives and mental health of the spinal cord injury patients who play it.
In the course of three years, Taylor Graham has accomplished many things: Survived a motorcycle accident, adjusted to a spinal cord injury and a new life in a wheelchair, picked up the sport of wheelchair tennis, graduated from Southeast Community College, and even got married.
So what could possibly be next?
“We have a goal of competing in the Paralympics in 2020,” said Kevin Heim, his wheelchair tennis coach.
When he distances himself from the memory, and the wheelchair, Matt Maier is simply racing again. He’s independent and self-assured. His knowledge and experience are advantageous.
He slides his helmet on and the view becomes framed and familiar. This is what he knows: The ripping start-up noise of engines, the smell of the sun baking the race track, the open pavement beckoning.
What’s been new is the adjustment outside of this world, the one with specially adapted cars and physical therapy appointments and the loss of the use of half of his body.
For engineer Matt Bellina, of Cocoa Beach, Fla., riding the perfect wave was a group mission.
More than 15 friends gathered on Florida’s Cocoa Beach on a Saturday morning this summer. Their task? Get 40-year-old Bellina back into the water surfing.
It wasn’t easy. On Memorial Day, 2014, the Bellina broke his neck, as he slid head-first down a water slide and into an inflatable wall. Bellina broke his C4 vertebra and damaged his high-cervical nerve. He’s one of an estimated 17,000 Americans each year who suffer a spinal cord injury and live. Bellina can’t walk, and has limited arm movement.
After serving our country, all veterans come back as our nation’s heroes. But some return with serious injuries and need assistance becoming whole again.
JUPITER, Fla. – If you told Army veteran Donald Thomas he would end up speeding down a mountain one day, he’d tell you that you we’re crazy.