Friday, February 27, 2009

Finally, I have created a blog to help me record the upcoming two months and 3,100 miles from San Diego to St Augustine. My biggest block to blogging has been coming up with a name. I have been asking everyone and there have been some great ideas. I would like to thank all those who shared these ideas with me. A special thanks to Carol, "Physician Wheel Theyself" seems just rights.

A week from today I will begin an adventure cycling across the country. I first thought about doing this a LONG time ago...I think it was high school. My husband knew this was a recurring goal and last summer, he gave me this trip for my 50th birthday. I immediately thought about using this trip as a way to give back: in particular to men and women who have been injured while serving our country. My planning and training began immediately and now here I am ready to start in just a few short days.

I am very privileged to work at a Veterans Medical Center where I care for those with Spinal Cord Injury. I love my work. In the course of my work I have gotten to interact with a not for profit group, Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) who advocate for these men and women. Many of my patients are active in this group. Paralyzed Veterans advocate for: quality health care for its members, for research and education regarding spinal cord injury and dysfunction, for benefits that are available as a result of the members' military service, for civil rights and opportunities that maximize the independence of members and for adaptable sports and recreation to promote rehabilitation and a lifetime of fitness.

Sports and recreation are so important. Finding ways, when you are paralyzed to stay strong and to maximize function translates to happier, healthier lives. I will be fund-raising for the OIF/OEF fund to help more paralyzed veterans attend the National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Spokane later this summer. This will provide newly injured veterans an opportunity to participate in sports and recreational activities. It helps them return to activities in which they had previously participated. It builds relationships with those who face a similar situation, but are perhaps further down the road and can give encouragement. It allows the spouse/care giver/ family member to meet people who have been through the same challenges Finally, it helps to show that there is life after injury and that life is rich and good in spite of a catastrophic event

I invite each of you to give generously to Paralyzed Veterans and the people who have selflessly served all of us and to join me on my trip by checking in with this blog. You can get more information on how to give by going to