Man Is Told He’ll Never Recover From Injury – Now He’s Proving Everyone Wrong By Traveling 2,300 Miles in a Wheelchair
Back in 2006, Janne Kouri suffered a spinal cord injury that resulted in him being paralyzed from the neck down. He was then told by doctor after doctor that he would never recover from the injury and would not live a normal life, but Janne was determined to prove everyone wrong.
After two months of rehabilitation, Janne moved back to Los Angeles and immediately started the nonprofit organization called NextStep Fitness, and he has dedicated himself to helping paralyzed folks ever since. One year after his own injury, Janne opened his first state-of-the-art fitness and rehabilitation facility in Los Angeles. He has since opened locations all over the country in cities like Phoenix, Atlanta, Kansas City, Orlando, Raleigh, and Las Vegas.
Janne is currently on the adventure of a lifetime as he is traveling over 2,300 miles from the west coast to the east in his wheelchair.
“It’s been an adventure and I’m having the time of my life,” he said of the “Rise For Paralysis” trip. “Just having the opportunity to see the country from a unique perspective is amazing. We’ve met so many wonderful people and great organizations along the way, it’s been more than I could have ever hoped for.”
To make this journey, Janne has been using a Permobil chair and a Bowhead, which is a special bike created for those with paralysis. He is hoping that his trip will show the world that people who are paralyzed can still live adventurous lives.
Highlights of Janne’s trip so far include throwing out the first pitch of a Cincinnati Reds game; rolling into a stadium with Rumble the Bison to deliver a half-court basketball in Oklahoma City; meeting with wounded veterans and team members from the Wounded Warriors Project in Phoenix, Arizona; and speaking to physical and occupational therapy students at the University of Tennessee. He has raised over $290,000 so far, and his goal is to raise $500,000 by the time he reaches his alma mater of Georgetown University, on May 15th.
Find out more about his incredible journey in the video below!