I want to take a moment and give a shout out to a recent friend and his outstanding achievements after suffering a Spinal Cord Injury of his own. I was introduced to Grant Korgan just weeks after my accident while I was still in rehab at the hospital and I remember talking to him and instantly feeling better knowing that someone else out there could possibly understand what I was going through. “You have a new best friend bro, feel free to call me anytime you want” is what he told me. Grant suffered his accident almost three years ago and was given the same uninspiring prognoses from his doctors about his chances of recovery.
Despite the challenges he faced, he worked his way out of his wheelchair, became much stronger, started walking with canes, and became the first adaptive athlete to hand-ski to the South Pole in Antarctica. This effort was chronicled by a documentary film crew and Grant has also written an inspiring book about the first year of his life after his accident entitled, “Two Feet Back.” I read his book and highly recommend it to anyone interested in learning of a person who has approached his recovery with unwavering optimism and positivity.
I want to dedicate this post to sharing Grant’s talk at a recent TEDx event. Check out his video and if you only have a few minutes, feel free to skip to 16:08 and watch and listen to the song about his story and recovery. I am continuously inspired by him and discover so many similarities to my own recovery. Madluv to you Grant
TEDx Grant Korgan: The Goosebumps of Life
Last Tuesday, December 11th, I had the great fortune of being surrounded with an amazing community of friends who came to support me and my recovery at an event in San Francisco. Many days later, I’m still riding the wave of incredible energy and love that I witnessed that evening and want to express how significant this was for me.
When the idea to host a fundraiser event came up, my expectations were reasonably subdued. I figured we would round up a few friends, raffle off a couple t-shirts or small prizes and call it a night. Thanks to an outstanding few friends who donated considerable time and energy in the weeks leading up to the big night, we were able to put on a well-organized, smooth and fun event which a few people called, “The hottest party in San Francisco tonight”. And why not?? We had plenty of beer and wine flowing, enough kabobs, sandwiches and snacks to feed the almost 300 people who attended, and over 70 incredible raffle and auction prizes. And um… so much for having t-shirts for prizes. How about a six night stay at a hotel in Jackson, Wyoming, or a day cruise on SF bay for 10 people on a private boat, or professional quality photography and artwork, or a brand new bike, or free yoga or acupuncture sessions, or gift baskets and prizes from a variety of local businesses…
I am thrilled – yet not very surprised – that we were able to have such a successful event and that so many pieces came together to make a truly special evening, but I am most thankful and grateful to all the smiles and hugs and support that I received that night. Although I completely lost my voice from the many conversations I had (and despite how short I felt sitting in a wheelchair around hundreds of people standing above and around me), my commitment to recovery was renewed and confirmed by every person I met throughout the night. I know there will continue to be hard times as I go forth in my recovery, but I know I have the foundation of so much positivity and good energy holding me up that I feel stronger than ever. Thank you to everyone who contributed in any way to make this such an incredible night.