Joseph Jackson of Phoenix, Arizona was recently awarded $3500 by the Will2Walk Foundation for a new, competitive rugby chair.
Joseph plays rugby with the Phoenix Heat. “My goal is to eventually represent Team USA, and with this new (chair) design and more experience, I am sure I will get there sooner rather than later.” A student at Arizona State University, Joseph sees wheelchair rugby as feeding his competitive spirit and helping him stay active and fit.
At age 16, Joseph suffered a football injury that left him an incomplete c6 quadriplegic. “I gained interest in rugby when the movie Murderball was shown to me by my mentor while still in the hospital. I got hurt playing football and love fast, contact sports, so rugby was perfect,” says Jackson.
When called upon, Joseph is now a peer mentor himself at St. Joe’s Hospital. His advice for people living with SCI is to find an outlet for recreation and continue to live an active lifestyle. “If you were an athlete before don’t stop just because you have an SCI. Continue to adapt, because life’s not over.”
Joseph heard about Will2Walk through a former grant recipient, Ernie Chun. “The Will2Walk scholarship has helped me stay fit and in shape with this new chair. It’s allowing me to continue to improve in my sport with a chair that is up to date with this evolving sport.”
The Will2Walk Scholarship & Sponsorship Program is designed to provide funding to individuals and qualified organizations that exemplify how those with spinal cord injuries can live a healthy, active and independent lifestyle. If you or someone you know could benefit from the Will2Walk Scholarship & Sponsorship Program, details can be found at Will2Walk.org.