"It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver". – Mohandas Gandhi

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Adaptive Kayaking in Metro DC, Virginia, Maryland

When my mom became paralyzed at T7 in March 2011, she fabricated a long list of things she thought that she would never do again. But over the last 2 years, she has overcome many mental and physical obstacles by challenging herself to re-learn how to enjoy the hobbies and freedoms that she once did – just modified. Among some of her new endeavors are participation in an adaptive ski program through Baltimore Adapted Recreation and Sports (BARS), sailing with the Baltimore Downtown Sailing Center (DSC), taking a rehabilitative driver training and getting her driver's license, and most recently KAYAKING!

Today, my mom, dad and I went to the David Taylor Model Basin in Carderock, Maryland to meet the lovely staff, volunteers and participants of Team River Runner (TRR), a non-profit organization that provides active duty servicemembers, veterans and people with physical disabilities the "opportunity to find health, healing, and new challenges through whitewater boating and other paddling sports."

The staff at Team River Runner (TRR) welcomed my mom with open arms and quickly made her feel at ease. They assisted her with a safe transfer, and glided her into the water in an adapted kayak with outriggers, designed to provide added stability. The TRR team taught her proper paddling techniques and balancing tips, and by the end of her session, she had kayaked 1.3 miles! It was an awesome day and she's motivated to build up her strength and skills over the next few weeks so that she can head outdoors with TRR in late April!


The metro DC and Baltimore area have some amazing non-profit organizations committed to serving people with disabilities. If you would like to participate in a program offered by TRR, BARS or DSC, please contact them directly or contact my family if you have any questions. We are huge supporters of each of of these organizations, and we would love to see you at their next events!

Find your local Team River Runner (TRR) chapter if you'd like to kayak with this great group! They are accepting new paddlers!

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More About Transverse Myelitis

Transverse Myelitis is a neurological disorder caused by inflammation across both sides of one level, or segment, of the spinal cord. Attacks of inflammation can damage or destroy myelin, the fatty insulating substance that covers nerve cell fibers. This damage causes nervous system scars that interrupt communications between the nerves in the spinal cord and the rest of the body.