A Wounded Veteran’s Cross Country Bike Ride

Sadly, it’s not uncommon for soldiers to return home from overseas with severe injuries. Many handle their injuries in different ways—something that is made quite evident in the case of Rob Jones.

Jones, a recipient of the Purple Heart, lost both of his legs above the knee while in Afghanistan. Obviously, with such an injury, his rehabilitation process was a long and grueling one. But he never gave up, and when it was all said and done, was more motivated than ever to live his life the way he wanted, which involved riding a bike across the US.

Since his recovery and rehabilitation, Jones has become a Paralympic bronze medalist and, as he puts it, “I wanted to be able to give back. I feel very satisfied that I’m able to do good things for wounded veterans”.

Jones has been able to do just that by attempting to raise more than $1 million for three military charities that helped him in the course of his own recovery.

He has been riding across country—from Bar Harbor, Maine to San Diego, California, for roughly six months. Averaging 30 miles a day, Jones is able to ride after learning to ride an upright bicycle without any power beneath his knees.

With his home stretch ahead of him and his trek nearly over, Rob Jones is a reminder of just how capable those with disabilities can be when they put their hearts and minds first. His ride should be over around the middle of April, and he hopes to not only serve as an inspiration to other disabled veterans, but to also raise the money necessary to help make their lives a better.

WHEELCHAIRS HARD TO COME BY IN NEPAL

While here in the US, we have a wide variety of wheelchairs and accessories to choose from, it can be easy to forget that not all countries have the same sort of accessibility to such convenience.

For instance, there is a huge need for wheelchairs in Nepal. In fact, the estimated 40,000 individuals in need of a wheelchair are well aware of the shortage; many of them simply have to go without. Worse yet is that there are no real programs set in place to help and there seems to be no change in this need anytime in the near future.
The National Federation of Disabled Nepal (NFDN) is working towards some sort of solution but is having difficulty gaining any traction. According to NFDN Presdeint, Sudarshan Subedi, “The figure is so high because many people were injured during the decade-long insurgency.”

The situation gets even direr when women are considered. A study conducted in 2007 indicated that women that lived with disabilities were much more vulnerable to sexual abuse that able-bodied women. Without the aid of wheelchairs, those women had only their families to rely upon,”

There is no delusion within the NDWA or other similar Nepali organizations that access to more wheelchairs will totally solve the issues with disabilities in Nepal. Subedi is currently trying to get talks started on the opening of rehabilitation centers while also doing what he can to get more wheelchairs to those in need.
Currently, that in need must go through a lengthy application process to get a wheelchair that they can scarcely afford while wealthier individuals can easily have them imported from abroad.