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News from South Hill

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South Hill welcomes NextStep founder on cross-country wheelchair "Ride For Paralysis"

NextStep founder on crosscountry wheelchair ride

Janne Kouri, President and founder of NextStep, is on a 3,000 mile wheelchair journey to raise funds and awareness for the six million individuals and wounded service members living with paralysis in the U.S.

On May 11, 2019 the Town of South Hill will be hosting an event at 2 p.m. open to the community at the new All Inclusive Playground at Centennial Park as part of welcoming Janne to South Hill.

Participants in the “Ride for Paralysis” fundraising and awareness campaign will bike, run and roll alongside Kouri for part or the entire journey across fourteen cities–from Los Angeles, CA to Washington D.C.–over the course of two months. If joining in the cross-country trip is not an option, Kouri encourages Ride for Paralysis participants to create their own challenge at home to raise funds and awareness.

Throughout the course of the trip, Kouri and his dedicated team will visit rehabilitation centers, universities and various communities to provide quality-of-life grants, donate much needed medical equipment, and host charity events.

The idea of riding my wheelchair from LA to DC is both exhilarating and terrifying,” said Janne Kouri, President and founder of NextStep Fitness, and Ride for Paralysis host. “The journey will be a true test of endurance, strength and camaraderie but we will have a lot of fun along the way. I am looking forward to the unknown, the daily challenges, meeting new people, and experiencing this amazing country from such a unique perspective.”

Having lived with paralysis since August 2006, Kouri embraces the NextStep motto ‘SISU’, a Finnish word meaning: “strength of will, determination, perseverance, and acting rationally in the face of adversity”. After being forced to move 2,000 miles to access the rehab services he needed to survive, he pledged to bring a better solution to those living with paralysis and founded NextStep.

Today, a vast majority of the six million individuals with paralysis are unable to receive quality progressive rehab since insurance on average only covers thirty-six therapy days. It is NextStep’s mission to make life-changing rehab accessible and affordable to those living with paralysis. In addition to raising funds, NextStep’s Ride for Paralysis campaign hopes to raise awareness about the lack of adequate healthcare and affordable rehabilitation services for people living with paralysis and the accessibility issues they face on a daily basis.

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