Man With Life-Altering Injury Defies All Odds, Travels 2,300 Miles In His Wheelchair

They say nothing is really impossible if you work hard enough and there is no better example of this than one man who is traveling thousands of miles in his wheelchair after a life-altering injury.

In 2006, Janne Kouri suffered a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the neck down.

He was told by multiple experts that he would never recover or lead a normal life after the accident.

But Kouri didn’t let this diagnosis keep him down.

After two months of intensive care and rehabilitation, he returned to his home in Los Angeles and founded his very own nonprofit organization called Next Step Fitness.

Kouri has since made it his life mission to aid others who suffer from paralysis. In 2007, he opened his first state-of-the-art fitness and rehabilitation facility in Los Angeles.

Now, the nonprofit founder has locations across the U.S. in Phoenix, Atlanta, Kansas City, Orlando, Raleigh, and Las Vegas.

Kouri’s most recent project is the Ride for Paralysis” which raises money and awareness for individuals and wounded service members living with paralysis.

For the fundraiser, Kouri is riding his powered wheelchair 2,900 miles from Los Angeles to Washington D.C.

When asked how the ride is going so far, Kouri says, “It’s been an adventure and I’m having the time of my life.”

“Just having the opportunity to see the country from a unique perspective is amazing. We’ve met so many wonderful people and great organizations along the way, it’s been more than I could have ever hoped for,” he added.

For his journey, Kouri is using a Permobil chair and a Bowhead, a bike created specifically for people with paralysis.

So far, the expedition has raised $290,000 with a goal of reaching $500,000 by the time Kouri reaches Georgetown University, on May 15th.

He hopes his efforts will show other people with disabilities that they too, can experience a full life.

So far on his trek, Kouri has had the opportunity to throw the first pitch of a Cincinnati Reds game; deliver a half-court basketball in Oklahoma City with Rumble the Bison; meet with wounded veterans and team members from the Wounded Warriors Project in Phoenix, Arizona; and speak to physical and occupational therapy students at the University of Tennessee.

For more information on Kouri’s journey visit the Ride for Paralysis official website.

h/t: Good News Network


Written by Emily Burns

Writer and editorial specialist based out of Austin, TX.