<iframe src="//www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-P3V3WD" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden">

Incontinence Support Blog

5 Ways Adaptive Sports Changes Lives with Men's Liberty

Posted by Mens Liberty

Jul 5, 2014 2:15:00 PM

Men’s Liberty has been privileged to be a Mission: ABLE partner and supporter of the National Veterans Wheelchair Games which are taking place in Tampa in July 2013. We’ve learned SO much from these inspiring athletes. And every time I talk to the competitors they give me new reasons to believe in the resilience of the human spirit. They speak with passion and conviction about the impact that adaptive sports have had in their life. Whether you’re an old hat or still a bit green, we’ve heard your stories and wanted to share the top 5 ways you say that adaptive sports have changed your lives. Have additional ways – let us know in the comments!

The stories below are from a variety of individuals, including veterans and civilians with spinal cord, traumatic brain and other injuries.

#1 – "Today, I am only on three different medications (down from 15) because of skiing. I have had the same coaches for the last three years and they have seen fast and unbelievable changes in me with my TBI."

Spc. Joel Hunt is an army veteran with a Traumatic Brain Injury who competes as an Alpine Skier. 

"When I came home I spent one year in a wheelchair feeling helpless. I was always the man that provided for my soldiers. And now I had to swallow my pride and ask for help. When my parents came to take care of me they constantly motivated me by getting me out of the house. I was lucky because a lot of soldiers do not have that support system. I am from Kokomo, a small town in Indiana and I had never skied before in my life. What I didn't realize is that skiing would change my life. In February 2008, I started getting out of my wheelchair because of my dizziness and my blackouts due to overheating. Plus, I didn't have enough control in my legs due to numbness and I was on 15 different kinds of medications. At times, my speech was slurred and my thinking was so slow that people thought I was drunk.


Since I had PTSD and TBI, I never wanted to get out of the house. My parents forced me to go to BOEC TBI ski camp to give it a try. On December 17, 2008, I learned how to ski and was told that I was carving on the third day. I was then introduced to NSCD to learn to race camp which I did well on rec skis. My best friend told me to check out CAF Operation Rebound and because of them and Disabled Sports USA's (DS / USA) efforts, I was able to compete that next year."

How adaptive sports changed your life: "Today, I am only on three different medications (down from 15) because of skiing. I have had the same coaches for the last three years and they have seen fast and unbelievable changes in me with my TBI."

For more information on Joel, visit: http://www.va.gov/adaptivesports/va_groups_story-JoelHunt.asp

#2 – “Playing sports, along with everyone's support, played a key role in my physical recovery as well as my psychological recovery.”

Carlos Leon is a quadriplegic and former marine who competes in the Discus. He’s only 2.62m from breaking the world record!

Training Regimen: "I pretty much live at the gym because I want to be the best in the world at the discus throw."

How did you get involved in adaptive sports: "My parents are Colombian so playing soccer at an early age is a tradition in my family. I've been an athlete my entire life. In June 2005, I had recently returned from deployment in Iraq and was six months from relief of active duty. While stationed in Hawaii's Kane'ohe Bay, I went swimming with some friends. I dove in the water, hit some coral rock and broke my neck at the fifth cervical vertebrae. Five months later, I attended my first sports camp."


How adaptive sports changed your life:
"My family, friends and the Corps were behind me 100%. Playing sports, along with everyone's support, played a key role in my physical recovery as well as my psychological recovery. Six years have passed since my accident where I lost function of my limbs. Now, I can walk with the assistance of a cane or walker. My discus throw, which is now my sole focus, has gone from eight meters on my first throw five years ago to nearly 24 meters. I am only 2.62 meters off the world record."

For more information on Joel, visit: http://www.va.gov/adaptivesports/va_groups_story-CarlosLeon.asp

#3 – “Growing up, I didn't know any injured people. The only injured people we see are the people at traffic stops asking for change. Paralympic sports opened my mind to a different world. I learned that I had options."

Kari Miller is an Army veteran and double amputee. She competes in women’s sitting volleyball and won a silver medal at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, China and named best libero at the 2009 Euro Cup.

How did you get involved in adaptive sports: "In December 1999, I was on leave of duty to visit my family for Christmas. While driving, my car was struck by a drunk driver and as a result, I lost both of my legs. In the weeks following the accident, I had plenty of bad days but my physical and emotional rehabilitation came through athletic competition."


How adaptive sports changed your life:
"Through sport competition, my work with the USOC Paralympic Military Program and support from my family, I realized my full potential as an athlete with a disability. Growing up, I didn't know any injured people. The only injured people we see are the people at traffic stops asking for change. Paralympic sports opened my mind to a different world. I learned that I had options."

Kari participates in sports for: Rehabilitation, competition and teaching other disabled Veterans about sports.

Fun fact: Kari is a rock climber and comic book enthusiast.

http://www.va.gov/adaptivesports/va_groups_story-KariMiller.asp

#4 – Going from instructor to student gave me a new appreciation of how “hard it is for our students to do what we ask them to do; and how dedicated and competent our instructors are.”

For many years, I taught skiing and snowboarding at the Adaptive Sports Foundation as a volunteer instructor. I skied or snowboarded everywhere on Windham Mountain with ease. I gave the first snowboard lesson to many of our students on the racing team.


Life changed for me a few years ago when I developed a neurological condition that cost me the use of my legs. In 2008, I could no longer snowboard or ski. In fact, I could barely walk.

So, I became an indoor volunteer, doing what I could to remain active in the program and stay in contact with friends, fellow volunteers, and students. My fellow instructors and students, especially Michael Mistretta, Kevin Cohane, John Swartwood and Mary Bozzone, gave me wonderful advice on how to cope with my new disability, which made life a lot easier. I learned how to use crutches and a wheelchair, which was something I never thought I would have to deal with on a personal level.

Last winter, I took the plunge and tried mono-skiing. With assistance and encouragement from Adam DeMuth, my daughter Dani, and many other instructors, I was finally able to get back on the snow. The experience was exciting and enlightening! Being on the other side, a student and not instructor, brought home two things I never understood before: first, how hard it is for our students to do what we ask them to do; and second, how dedicated and competent our instructors are.


I wish I could say I was an instant superstar, but the fact is, I did a lot of falling, and Adam and Dani did a lot of picking up. I knew what I was supposed to do, but I wasn’t always able to do it. And, it is amazing how steep White Way, a Windham Mountain beginner trail, looks when you are going down in a mono-ski and not upright on a snowboard. After a few days and many runs, I was able to master Willpower, another Windham Mountain beginner trail, and get up and down White Way with ease.

My instructors displayed infinite patience, not only teaching me how to ski, but encouraging me after each frustrating fall. This year my goal is to improve enough so that I can return to teaching. If I can accomplish that, I know I will be better than I ever was before, because now I have seen life from the other side.

For more information on the Adaptive Sports Foundation, visit: http://blog.adaptivesportsfoundation.org/2011/03/volunteer-gains-first-hand-insight-as-role-changes-from-instructor-to-participant/

#5 –  “When you’ve had a traumatic injury it affects your social life, self-confidence and self-worth. Our job is to say ‘your life has changed but it hasn’t gone up in smoke’.”

Tom Brown, who was a rehabilitation therapist at McGuire VA hospital and director of the first National Veterans Wheelchair Games, knows firsthand the therapeutic value of adaptive sports. Born without legs— “I have been basically between artificial legs and wheelchairs all my life”—at age 7 he was the youngest member of an all-men’s wheelchair basketball team.
 
While majoring in music at the University of Illinois, Brown enthusiastically participated in UI’s wheelchair sports program—one of the few in the country at the time. In the end, love of sports prevailed; he pursued his master’s in therapeutic rehabilitation (TR).


“The goal of TR is to get people with disabilities out into the community,” Brown, Paralyzed Veterans’ director for the 32nd Games, explains. “When you’ve had a traumatic injury it affects your social life, self-confidence and self-worth. So we work on whole body, mind and soul. All of these [injured] were military vets, parts of teams—now suddenly they are on their own, they can’t be part of something. Our job is to say ‘your life has changed but it hasn’t gone up in smoke.’ ”

Dr Ken Lee, head of spinal cord medicine at VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, and himself a combat veteran and former patient (he received a traumatic brain injury from a suicide car bombing) seconds Brown’s view. “We’ve been pushed to do some sports since childhood,” he says. “It makes sense that when we have an injury or life-altering medical event, we can use sports to get back into the world—the wheelchair is no longer a boundary.”

A member of the Games’ national physician team since 1999, Dr. Lee sees it as an event that epitomizes adaptive sports’ unique healing abilities. “Many people think adaptive sports are fun and games,” he says. “They don’t realize it is all about rehab. Adaptive sports keep the rehab in motion—and keeps the injured moving forward.”

Both Lee and Brown see an added value in the sheer numbers competing. “The modeling between a new vet and a worldly vet, who has been to the Games and been out in the community is remarkable,” Brown says. “It’s worth probably more than any therapist or hospital program could ever do. It’s one thing for an able-bodied person to tell them ‘you can do it’—when they see fellow vets doing it, it sinks in.”

For more information on the Paralyzed Veterans of America and the Wheelchair Games, visit: www.pva.org

Have additional stories you want to share?  Let us know in the comments!

 

Click me

Topics: adaptive athletes, spinal cord injury, mission able

Only 3 Days Left... Join Us at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games

Posted by Sarah Woodward

Jul 16, 2013 9:31:00 AM

The National Veterans Wheelchair Games kicked off on Saturday - and what a day! We got a chance to catch up with lots of Liberty users, check out the coolest new tech and meet all sorts of inspiring new people.

For those of you that don't know, the Games needs thousands of volunteers to make things flow smoothly and every staff member here at Men's Liberty has been helping out. There are three days left and they could always use more help! So if you're in the Tampa Bay area come on down to the convention center and check it out!

To get you pumped, check out this trailer with photos and videos from the first two days of competition!

 

For more information on the Games, visit the PVA online at: www.wheelchairgames.pva.org

Topics: wheelchair games, adaptive athletes, National Veterans Wheelchair Games, veterans, spinal cord injury, mission able

5 Ways Adaptive Sports Changes Lives with Men's Liberty

Posted by Sarah Woodward

Jan 13, 2013 10:22:00 AM

Men’s Liberty has been privileged to be a Mission: ABLE partner and supporter of the National Veterans Wheelchair Games which are taking place in Tampa in July 2013. We’ve learned SO much from these inspiring athletes. And every time I talk to the competitors they give me new reasons to believe in the resilience of the human spirit. They speak with passion and conviction about the impact that adaptive sports have had in their life. Whether you’re an old hat or still a bit green, we’ve heard your stories and wanted to share the top 5 ways you say that adaptive sports have changed your lives. Have additional ways – let us know in the comments!

The stories below are from a variety of individuals, including veterans and civilians with spinal cord, traumatic brain and other injuries.

#1 – "Today, I am only on three different medications (down from 15) because of skiing. I have had the same coaches for the last three years and they have seen fast and unbelievable changes in me with my TBI."

Spc. Joel Hunt is an army veteran with a Traumatic Brain Injury who competes as an Alpine Skier. 

"When I came home I spent one year in a wheelchair feeling helpless. I was always the man that provided for my soldiers. And now I had to swallow my pride and ask for help. When my parents came to take care of me they constantly motivated me by getting me out of the house. I was lucky because a lot of soldiers do not have that support system. I am from Kokomo, a small town in Indiana and I had never skied before in my life. What I didn't realize is that skiing would change my life. In February 2008, I started getting out of my wheelchair because of my dizziness and my blackouts due to overheating. Plus, I didn't have enough control in my legs due to numbness and I was on 15 different kinds of medications. At times, my speech was slurred and my thinking was so slow that people thought I was drunk.

Since I had PTSD and TBI, I never wanted to get out of the house. My parents forced me to go to BOEC TBI ski camp to give it a try. On December 17, 2008, I learned how to ski and was told that I was carving on the third day. I was then introduced to NSCD to learn to race camp which I did well on rec skis. My best friend told me to check out CAF Operation Rebound and because of them and Disabled Sports USA's (DS / USA) efforts, I was able to compete that next year."

How adaptive sports changed your life: "Today, I am only on three different medications (down from 15) because of skiing. I have had the same coaches for the last three years and they have seen fast and unbelievable changes in me with my TBI."

For more information on Joel, visit: http://www.va.gov/adaptivesports/va_groups_story-JoelHunt.asp

#2 – “Playing sports, along with everyone's support, played a key role in my physical recovery as well as my psychological recovery.”

Carlos Leon is a quadriplegic and former marine who competes in the Discus. He’s only 2.62m from breaking the world record!

Training Regimen: "I pretty much live at the gym because I want to be the best in the world at the discus throw."

How did you get involved in adaptive sports: "My parents are Colombian so playing soccer at an early age is a tradition in my family. I've been an athlete my entire life. In June 2005, I had recently returned from deployment in Iraq and was six months from relief of active duty. While stationed in Hawaii's Kane'ohe Bay, I went swimming with some friends. I dove in the water, hit some coral rock and broke my neck at the fifth cervical vertebrae. Five months later, I attended my first sports camp."

How adaptive sports changed your life: "My family, friends and the Corps were behind me 100%. Playing sports, along with everyone's support, played a key role in my physical recovery as well as my psychological recovery. Six years have passed since my accident where I lost function of my limbs. Now, I can walk with the assistance of a cane or walker. My discus throw, which is now my sole focus, has gone from eight meters on my first throw five years ago to nearly 24 meters. I am only 2.62 meters off the world record."

For more information on Joel, visit: http://www.va.gov/adaptivesports/va_groups_story-CarlosLeon.asp

#3 – “Growing up, I didn't know any injured people. The only injured people we see are the people at traffic stops asking for change. Paralympic sports opened my mind to a different world. I learned that I had options."

Kari Miller is an Army veteran and double amputee. She competes in women’s sitting volleyball and won a silver medal at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, China and named best libero at the 2009 Euro Cup.

How did you get involved in adaptive sports: "In December 1999, I was on leave of duty to visit my family for Christmas. While driving, my car was struck by a drunk driver and as a result, I lost both of my legs. In the weeks following the accident, I had plenty of bad days but my physical and emotional rehabilitation came through athletic competition."

How adaptive sports changed your life: "Through sport competition, my work with the USOC Paralympic Military Program and support from my family, I realized my full potential as an athlete with a disability. Growing up, I didn't know any injured people. The only injured people we see are the people at traffic stops asking for change. Paralympic sports opened my mind to a different world. I learned that I had options."

Kari participates in sports for: Rehabilitation, competition and teaching other disabled Veterans about sports.

Fun fact: Kari is a rock climber and comic book enthusiast.

http://www.va.gov/adaptivesports/va_groups_story-KariMiller.asp

#4 – Going from instructor to student gave me a new appreciation of how “hard it is for our students to do what we ask them to do; and how dedicated and competent our instructors are.”

For many years, I taught skiing and snowboarding at the Adaptive Sports Foundation as a volunteer instructor. I skied or snowboarded everywhere on Windham Mountain with ease. I gave the first snowboard lesson to many of our students on the racing team.

Life changed for me a few years ago when I developed a neurological condition that cost me the use of my legs. In 2008, I could no longer snowboard or ski. In fact, I could barely walk.

So, I became an indoor volunteer, doing what I could to remain active in the program and stay in contact with friends, fellow volunteers, and students. My fellow instructors and students, especially Michael Mistretta, Kevin Cohane, John Swartwood and Mary Bozzone, gave me wonderful advice on how to cope with my new disability, which made life a lot easier. I learned how to use crutches and a wheelchair, which was something I never thought I would have to deal with on a personal level.

Last winter, I took the plunge and tried mono-skiing. With assistance and encouragement from Adam DeMuth, my daughter Dani, and many other instructors, I was finally able to get back on the snow. The experience was exciting and enlightening! Being on the other side, a student and not instructor, brought home two things I never understood before: first, how hard it is for our students to do what we ask them to do; and second, how dedicated and competent our instructors are.

I wish I could say I was an instant superstar, but the fact is, I did a lot of falling, and Adam and Dani did a lot of picking up. I knew what I was supposed to do, but I wasn’t always able to do it. And, it is amazing how steep White Way, a Windham Mountain beginner trail, looks when you are going down in a mono-ski and not upright on a snowboard. After a few days and many runs, I was able to master Willpower, another Windham Mountain beginner trail, and get up and down White Way with ease.

My instructors displayed infinite patience, not only teaching me how to ski, but encouraging me after each frustrating fall. This year my goal is to improve enough so that I can return to teaching. If I can accomplish that, I know I will be better than I ever was before, because now I have seen life from the other side.

For more information on the Adaptive Sports Foundation, visit: http://blog.adaptivesportsfoundation.org/2011/03/volunteer-gains-first-hand-insight-as-role-changes-from-instructor-to-participant/

#5 –  “When you’ve had a traumatic injury it affects your social life, self-confidence and self-worth. Our job is to say ‘your life has changed but it hasn’t gone up in smoke’.”

Tom Brown, who was a rehabilitation therapist at McGuire VA hospital and director of the first National Veterans Wheelchair Games, knows firsthand the therapeutic value of adaptive sports. Born without legs— “I have been basically between artificial legs and wheelchairs all my life”—at age 7 he was the youngest member of an all-men’s wheelchair basketball team.
 
While majoring in music at the University of Illinois, Brown enthusiastically participated in UI’s wheelchair sports program—one of the few in the country at the time. In the end, love of sports prevailed; he pursued his master’s in therapeutic rehabilitation (TR).

“The goal of TR is to get people with disabilities out into the community,” Brown, Paralyzed Veterans’ director for the 32nd Games, explains. “When you’ve had a traumatic injury it affects your social life, self-confidence and self-worth. So we work on whole body, mind and soul. All of these [injured] were military vets, parts of teams—now suddenly they are on their own, they can’t be part of something. Our job is to say ‘your life has changed but it hasn’t gone up in smoke.’ ”

Dr Ken Lee, head of spinal cord medicine at VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, and himself a combat veteran and former patient (he received a traumatic brain injury from a suicide car bombing) seconds Brown’s view. “We’ve been pushed to do some sports since childhood,” he says. “It makes sense that when we have an injury or life-altering medical event, we can use sports to get back into the world—the wheelchair is no longer a boundary.”

A member of the Games’ national physician team since 1999, Dr. Lee sees it as an event that epitomizes adaptive sports’ unique healing abilities. “Many people think adaptive sports are fun and games,” he says. “They don’t realize it is all about rehab. Adaptive sports keep the rehab in motion—and keeps the injured moving forward.”

Both Lee and Brown see an added value in the sheer numbers competing. “The modeling between a new vet and a worldly vet, who has been to the Games and been out in the community is remarkable,” Brown says. “It’s worth probably more than any therapist or hospital program could ever do. It’s one thing for an able-bodied person to tell them ‘you can do it’—when they see fellow vets doing it, it sinks in.”

For more information on the Paralyzed Veterans of America and the Wheelchair Games, visit: www.pva.org

Have additional stories you want to share?  Let us know in the comments!

 

Click me

Topics: wheelchair games, adaptive athletes, National Veterans Wheelchair Games, veterans, spinal cord injury, mission able

5 Things You Need to Know About the Paralympics

Posted by Sarah Woodward

Jan 11, 2013 10:30:00 AM

There was a lot of coverage this summer of the London Paralympics. As part of #ThrowbackThursday we are sharing a whole host of images from the past events and we came across 5 surprising facts we thought you should know!

#1 - The Olympic and Paralympic Games are actually two separate entities.

The two Games are actually completely separate. The first international Paralympic Games took place in Rome, a week after the 1960 Summer Olympic Games were held there. In 1964, they were held in Tokyo, again just after the Olympics.

But in 1968, Mexico City, the host city of that year’s Olympics, refused to host the Paralympics. They were instead held in Tel Aviv and from then until 1988, the Paralympics continued to be held in locations completely separate to the Olympics.

Then in 1988, Olympics hosts Seoul took on the Paralympics, and they have been held together ever since. In 2001, it became official, and now host cities have to bid for both.

There are rumors that one day the two might merge, but opinions are split on the merits of such a move. Read more…

#2 – The first Paralympics were held in 1960, but international adaptive athletic competitions go back to the 17th century!

While early local or national versions of the modern Olympics began in England and France as far back as the 17th and 18th centuries, the Paralympics Games are just over 50 years old.

Did you know that an early version of the Paralympics began in Britain? A precursor to the Games was held to coincide with the 1948 London Olympics at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire, which is world-renowned for its work with people who’d suffered spinal injuries.

Organised by Sir Ludwig “Poppa” Guttmann, a German-born doctor who had escaped Nazi Germany, and worked to rehabilitate British soldiers injured in the war, the Stoke Mandeville Games were held again in 1952 when Dutch war veterans also took part, making it the first international competition of its kind. Just eight years later, what has since become known as the first official Paralympic Games was held in Rome in 1960, featuring 400 athletes from 23 countries.  Read more…

#3 – The first games were only open to athletes in wheelchairs.

Until 1976 the Games were open only to athletes in wheelchairs. The term was first used in the 1950s and was a pun amalgamating the words paraplegic and Olympics.

But in 1976 many more classifications were added, allowing 1,600 athletes from 40 countries to compete. The present-day Paralympic Games include five major classifications of athletes: persons with visual impairments, persons with physical disabilities, amputee athletes, people with cerebral palsy, people with spinal cord injuries and Les Autres - athletes with a physical disability that are not included in the categories mentioned above (e.g., people with Muscular Dystrophy).

#4 – The Paralympic mascot, Mandeville, is named after Stoke Mandeville Hospital in the UK where an early version of the Games got started.

What's less well known about the original 1948 games - then known as the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports (IWAS) World Games - is that patients at Stoke Mandeville were pitted against another care facility, the Royal Star and Garter Home in Richmond Upon Thames, where the father of the games, Dr. Ludwig Guttman, also worked.

Less well known still is that the Royal Star and Garter side won that inaugural contest - an archery competition. The Richmond-based patients also won the rematch just a few weeks later.

Regardless of who won, what is true is that without Dr. Ludwig Guttmann there would be no modern Paralympics. Moreover, there'd be many wounded servicemen from WW2 who'd have never survived horrific paralyzing injuries.

I met Ron Hill, now 92, but a man who thought he'd be lucky to live three months after shrapnel paralyzed him from the chest down on D-Day. He considers himself very lucky to have been taken to Stoke Mandeville Hospital to be treated by Dr. Guttmann.

All these years on Ron now lives and is cared for at the Royal Star and Garter Home in Richmond where his former doctor once also worked. He explained, "He didn't let you stop using your brain. He had you up in a wheelchair as soon as possible."

You learn more about the origins of the Paralympics at the Mandeville Legacy website, here.

#5 – The range of adaptive sports has expanded throughout the years and includes several adapted versions of able-bodied sports.

Although there are sports that only disabled people play, you’ll recognize most of the events at the Paralympics. Swimming, cycling and athletics will happen in a similar way to their Olympic equivalents, albeit split into many different classifications, and with added prosthetics, wheelchairs and human guides.

Spectators at sports like wheelchair rugby, sitting volleyball and blind football, who are familiar with their able-bodied equivalents, will quickly realize that the Paralympic versions bear little resemblance to the sports they know and love.

The ball used in blind football is less bouncy than a regular one and contains ball bearings to make it audible.

It is played on a hard surface by two teams of five players. The area of play is smaller than in regular football and is surrounded by boards. The boards not only stop the ball from going out, but also reflect sounds from the ball and from footsteps, which helps players to orientate themselves on the pitch. Teams rely heavily on numerous audible clues, so spectators must stay silent during play.

describe the image

While the Paralympics won’t be back for a few years, we’re looking forward to the 2014 Games in Brazil and seeing all these amazing athletes! And in the meantime, there are a ton of great local adaptive sports competitions to check out including the International Quad Rugby Tournament here in Tampa that is taking place this weekend. Check it out!

21st Annual Coloplast International Wheelchair Rugby Tournament

All Peoples Center

6105 E. Sligh Avenue

Tampa, Fl 33617

Fri, 01/11/2013 (All day) - Sun, 01/13/2013 (All day)

Subscribe to Our Blog!

Topics: wheelchair games, bladder control, Caregiving, adaptive athletes, National Veterans Wheelchair Games, veterans, mission able

Following Davis… Countdown to the Wheelchair Games!

Posted by Sarah Woodward

Oct 23, 2012 12:54:00 PM

Men’s Liberty is a proud sponsor of Mission: ABLE and regular attendee at the PVA’s annual Wheelchair Games. We are so proud of these adaptive athletes and are consistently amazed by their accomplishments. These competitors challenge the stigma too often associated with ‘disability’. It’s just under a year until the next Wheelchair Games and training is already kicking off. To top up the excitement in our offices, we are thrilled that the Games are being hosted here in Tampa and we’re looking forward to being involved every step of the way.

In that spirit, we want you to get in on the action as well. For the next 10 months, we are inviting you to follow Davis, a local Tampa Bay area competitor in weight lifting, swimming, hand-cycling and quad rugby (also known as Murderball!). He is starting training next week for hand cycling and quad rugby!

Davis Celestine, PVA, Men's Liberty

We’re going to be checking in with Davis every few weeks as he trains for the Wheelchair Games and we’ll be posting updates here so you all can follow along. Last year he won the Silver Medal in swimming and the Gold in weight lifting. We’re looking forward to seeing him do it again this year!

Davis is a C6 partial quadriplegic who was wounded in a training accident while he was preparing with his unit to be deployed to Afghanistan in 2001. He is now the President of the Gulf Coast Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America and quite the advocate for veterans in the area! We are thrilled to get to follow along on the amazing journey he and the other athletes will take leading up to the 2013 Wheelchair Games!

In a recent interview with the Tampa Tribune, Davis explained why he was excited to have the games come to Tampa.

"Tampa is a great place for veterans," says Davis . "It is a community enriched with military veterans who have served before me and who are serving after me. We came and made it home.

"Having the games come back to Tampa is going to be a grand old event to show people in my community what a disabled person can do. It's not a sickness or disorder. We want to show that individuals, even in a chair, can live a healthy and active life."

When he’s not competing, Davis is the proud husband and father of two very active 17 year old twins.  He is looking forward to watching them graduate from high school next spring and then head off to college here in Florida.

Check out this ABC News piece on Davis and the Wheelchair Games:

The Games will be taking place in Tampa July 13 to 18, 2013 and are expected to draw more than 500 Veterans from across the United States, Puerto Rico and Great Britain. 

Davis Celestine Wheelchair Games 

Veterans compete in 17 competitive events including air guns, archery, basketball, bowling, field events such shot put, javelin, discus and club, hand-cycling, a motorized wheelchair rally, nine ball, power soccer, quad rugby, slalom, softball, swimming, table tennis, track, trapshooting and weightlifting. The athletes compete in all events against each other with similar athletic ability, competitive experience or age. 

Subscribe to our blog or follow us on Facebook to keep on the latest news with Davis!

Subscribe by November 30th and you will be entered to win an Amazon Kindle Fire!

Subscribe to Our Blog!

Men’s Liberty is a proud sponsor of Mission: ABLE and an enthusiastic supporter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America. For more information on the Wheelchair Games, check out their website: www.wheelchairgames.va.gov

Topics: wheelchair games, external catheter for men, adaptive athletes, National Veterans Wheelchair Games, Following Davis, veterans, spinal cord injury, mission able

SCI and Wounded Warriors - Men's Liberty Joins Mission: ABLE

Posted by Sarah Woodward

Sep 26, 2012 5:54:00 PM

We were shocked to read about the new study released this week from the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery that an estimated 5% of veterans from the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan sustained spinal injuries between October 2001 and December 2009. This is a higher rate of incidence than any other military conflict in US history! And it has a huge impact on our veterans, their families and the healthcare system.

James A. Blair, M.D., from the Brooke Army Medical Center in Fort Sam Houston, and colleagues identified 10,979 combat injuries that were evacuated and found that 598 casualties ( or 5.45%) sustained 2,101 spinal injuries.

An estimated fifty-six percent of the spinal injuries were caused by explosions. This was closely followed by motor vehicle collisions at 29%, and gunshots at 15%. Spinal cord injuries were found in 17% of the 598 patients, that works out to over 100 people!

"The results of this study support prior claims that the incidence of spinal injuries among combat casualties in the Global War on Terrorism are among the highest in American military medical history," the authors write. "Although survival rates for such wounds remain high, the devastating nature of these injuries imparts substantial disability, which must be borne by the wounded service members, their families, and the American health care system."

Here at Men's Liberty we talk a lot about individuals with spinal cord injuries and our wounded warriors. Sadly, these two groups frequently overlap, with dramatic results for our veterans lives and for their families and the VA healthcare system. Not only will these men and women face a lifelong disability - but they will most likely have to cope with concurrent conditions like urinary incontinence. The consequences of outdated devices like condom catheters and diapers are so dire that we know something fundamental has to change.

We are committed to provided all men suffering from incontinence with the best possible products so that they can get back to living life to the fullest. And we are thrilled to announce that Men's Liberty is now a proud partner of Mission: ABLE!

PVA, Mission:ABLE

Mission: ABLE is Paralyzed Veterans of America's call to action for all Americans - companies, communities and citizens - to come together to support the disabled veterans who are ready, willing and able to rebuild their lives and pursue their dreams. This signature campaign ensures America's brave veterans can access the quality care they need, receive the benefits they've earned, and fine the job opportunities and training they deserve. Join us!

 

 

 

Topics: external catheter for men, veterans, spinal cord injury, mission able