The Will2Walk Foundation recently awarded a $3,000 Life Enhancement Grant to Jody Robertson of Queen Creek, Arizona. The grant allowed her to purchase an Invacare Top End Force-2 handcycle to ride for exercise and training.
In 2003, Jody was injured by an accidental gunshot that resulted in T11-T12 paraplegia. Today, she works as a customer service representative at Gateway Commercial Bank, and also volunteers as a mentor and graphic designer for Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. It was there that she met fellow mentor and Will2Walk President Rich Hamill, and became aware of the foundation’s purpose.
In her role as a mentor, Jody shares her story with those who are newly injured and looking for advice on how to live with a spinal cord injury (SCI).
“I always emphasize that life is short, and you have to get out there and make the most of every day that you feel good, because there are many days you might not feel so good,” shares Jody. “I also ask them to try not to judge others because no one knows what they are dealing with.”
Jody believes anyone can do anything. “You might have to do it in a different way or ask for a little help, but you can do anything you set your mind to,” she asserts.
After learning about the Arizona Disabled Sports handcycling program, Jody became interested in trying it out and has been enjoying the sport for the last five years.
Jody applied for the Will2Walk Grant with independence in mind. “I knew that the handcycle would allow me the independence to get out into the community and feel like a person who is not disabled,” she said. “It would also build up the strength needed to do all my own transfers, therefore allowing me to lead a totally independent lifestyle.”
“[This grant] has given me a sense of belonging again,” reflects Jody. “After living with a spinal cord injury for ten years, I now have a goal to become more active and more fit—a goal I never thought would have.”