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.
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Relatively uneventful Day 21 today…Rode east on Route 66, saw a rattle snake, @mikehalen got three flats, I fell 10 miles short of my 60 mile goal due to some equipment issues. I’ll make up those miles tomorrow. We’ll get it fixed in the AM and finish the ride into Amarillo. Looking forward to riding with @mivcevich and @jackstuff on the next leg! @andersonbell25 @freshaircrewfilm #rideforparalysis
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.
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We rode 64 miles, 5,700 vertical feet in pouring rain over The Great Smoky Mountains and came out clean on the other side! @sandygoodman Your dream finally came true! Thanks again for the support. Shout out to David Doyle and the staff at The Quality Inn in Newport , we are grateful for the comp’d rooms and the warm welcome. #rideforparalysis #makeitrain @califinn @andersonbell25 @freshaircrewfilm @bowheadcorp @braunability
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