Tuesday, August 16, 2005

A little bit of inspiration today, thanks.

I was feeling sorry for myself this morning.. I needed some inspiration. I decided to read a little bit about Neil Parry, Brian Hall, Reggie Showers, Mike Welsch, Joe Sapere, Jim DeLong and Bill Vanover, Clare Forbes & Terry Fox. What do these people have in common? One thing that links these individuals together is that they are all amputees, like myself.

Neil Parry - Parry lost his lower right leg in 2000 as a result of a break that occurred during a Spartans football game. A severe infection from the break ultimately resulted in the amputation of his leg. “It was rough. I was a Division I athlete in the best shape of my life, the strongest point in my life, and all of a sudden I can’t move. I’m in a hospital bed on an IV and getting attended to by nurses. I couldn’t even eat. I lost 50 pounds. It seemed like everything was taken away from me.” After 25 operations, 15 different prosthetic legs, countless hours of rehabilitation, and years of preparation, Neil was ready to play football again.

On September 18, 2003 after 35 months, Neil played in one play as a blocker on the Spartan’s punt return unit. Spartans head coach Fitz Hill made it clear that Parry’s return was not a charity gesture. “Parry earned his spot fair and square, and he became an example of courage and determination.

Amputation doesn't ruin Parry's dream
"There were times when I would say, `Why?' and `How could this happen to me?' " Neil Parry said. "But I guess an injury happens to somebody who can handle it. I'm able to handle this. I want kids to look at me and say, `Hey, if he can do it, I can too.' " - Neil Parry

BCS chaos pales in comparison to Neil Parry's plight
“It was like my life stopped,” Parry said. “I was worried about what the girls would think when they saw me wearing shorts. I didn’t think I would ever again be able to do the things I loved like hunting or golfing.” - Neil Parry

Brian Hall - The last amputee to play NCAA football was Brian Hall, who was a field goal kicker for Texas Tech from 1974 to 1976 with a prosthetic SACH foot. Hall was riding on a sprinkler system tractor in 1968 when his foot became caught in a sprocket. Physicians were able to salvage only the heel.

Hall made the freshman Texas Tech team in 1972. He was the leading scorer on his team in his junior and senior years and scored 28 of 38 field goals in his college career. No professional football teams were interested, however, and Hall is now an insurance agent in Dallas.


Reggie Showers - Showers lost both his legs in a childhood accident and is now the world's fastest amputee; He is an advocate and motivational speaker for the physically challenged.

Some career highlights:
  • 2003: Won his first career event at the prestigious Mac Tools U.S. Nationals; finished a career-best fourth in POWERade standings; earned his first No. 1 qualifying position (Brainerd); recorded career-best numbers in time, speed, elimination round wins and final-round appearances
  • 2002: Advanced to two semifinal rounds, tying a career-best
  • 2001: Broke into the NHRA top 10 Pro Stock Bike standings for first time in his career
  • 2000: Competed in his first full schedule of NHRA Pro Stock Bike events
  • 1989: IDBA Pro Champion and Rookie of the Year
    Former International Drag Bike Association racer with 25 wins in 32 final round appearances.
  • Holds 14 world records in elapsed time and mph.


Mike Welsh - A Massachusetts man spent 16 hours in New Hampshire's Lake Winnipesaukee this weekend all for a good cause -- to raise money for the Jimmy Fund.


Amputee swims 16 hours to raise money for Jimmy Fund


Joe Sapere, Jim DeLong and Bill Vanover - Three amputees rolled into HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital in Braintree yesterday, concluding their 4,400-mile cross-country journey. Billing themselves on their Web site as ``Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things,'' Joe Sapere, Jim DeLong and Bill Vanover began their bike trip on June 1. They are members of an amputee awareness group called Amputees Across America.
They visited 32 HealthSouth facilities, several Shriners Children's Hospitals, a Veterans Affairs hospital and local amputee groups along the way.
They were spreading the message that physical disabilities should not stop people from enjoying life to the fullest or taking on physical challenges.

Amputees Across America 2005 Starts Off With Smiles and a Splash

June 13, 2005 - The Amputee Across America (AAA) riders started off this year’s journey with a splash as they had fun wetting their tires in the Pacific Ocean before hitting the coast road toward Newport Beach, California. Joe Sapere and Bill Vanover were joined at the start of the ride by Bill’s daughter, Mandi, and Joe’s son, Jim. Support drivers this year are Joe’s wife, Janette, and Bill’s wife, Trish.

Amputees Across America Spread Hope and Inspiration Through Visitations

June 17, 2005 - Eight visitations in the past two weeks have kept the riders busy! The Amputees Across America (AAA) riders have toured through Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico and met lots of supporters at rehab facilities along the way. They’ve also been joined by several guest riders, including Jr. Ambassador Chris Rhoades, AAA 2002 alumnus John Keating and his two young sons, and riders from El Paso Corporation, a sponsor of this year’s ride.

Cross-country Journey Heats up for Amputees Across America

July 05, 2005 - As Joe Sapere, Bill Vanover and various Amputees Across America (AAA) guest riders cross the nation’s heartland, temperatures soar into the 100s and the humidity edges higher and higher. After a visitation in Colorado Springs, the group leaves Colorado’s comfortable temperatures behind and breaks out the water pistols as a fun way to cool down when needed.

Three Quarters Down, One to Go

July 15, 2005 - In spite of the summer heat and humidity, Amputees Across America (AAA) riders have completed three-quarters of the 2005 transcontinental journey. Over the past two weeks, the riders have made 10 visitations as they traveled through Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia.

Amputee Riders Cross Pennsylvania

July 29, 2005 - The Amputees Across America (AAA) riders enter Pennsylvania July 16 and spend the next couple weeks riding across the state and making eight visitations to various rehabilitation centers and hospitals in the greater Pittsburgh area, Altoona and Pleasant Gap among other towns.



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