Jake's new rugby wheelchair

My name is Jake Ross and on May 20, 2013, my life changed forever. I was in a motor vehicle accident that left me paralyzed from the chest down. Most people would assume they were safe in secure in a minivan, however, I am 6'7" and this small accident turned into a tragedy for me. When the roof of the van collapsed, my height became my biggest fault. My C6 and C7 vertebrae were severely dislocated and I instantly lost all function of my legs, back, abdomen, and most function of my arms. I was flown my helicopter to a trauma center, where I spent a month living in a blur and fighting for my life.

After spending 4 months in an inpatient rehabilitation center in Baltimore, MD, I was ready to head home and face this life changing condition. I spent many months depressed and lost because the life I knew before was taken from me. My days and worries revolved around my bowels, my bladder, or simple activities such as bathing, dressing, or transferring positions. As a 21 year old male, it was difficult to adapt to a world full of planning, anticipating, worrying, and depending. This is the motivation that lead me to find new ways and new abilities in order to gain the independence I lost. As a quadriplegic, I am very proud that through 2 years of hard work, dedication, and many mistakes, I independently take care of myself and live a very fulfilling life.

And now, it comes down to the reason I am writing this about myself. The biggest motivation and life changing event for me was when sports were reintroduced into my life. I was born and raised as an athlete. All throughout my childhood and adult life, I was involved in team sports and activities. When I became a quadriplegic, my hopes for a fulfilling life were demolished because I figured I could never play a sport or be a part of a team again since over half of my body didn't work! But I was wrong. Some of the best peer influences and mentors have shown me a new world of possibilities and fulfillment! I started playing Wheelchair rugby 1 year ago and it has changed my life forever. I have a purpose, a drive, and a team to support me. Through this sport, I have gained an independence and fulfillment that I once lost. This past year, I have travelled to Florida, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, to play in tournaments. I recently moved to Texas to play against some of the best competition in the country. However, this is where I need some help from some supporters. I'm in need of a new style of rugby chair and my current chair is big and doesn't fit me properly anymore. These rugby chairs are made one at a time to custom fit the individual. They tend to cost over $6000. I have received a grant from the Kelly Brush Foundation for $1000 to use towards a new rugby chair. I am asking for help and any donations!! Please help support me in this journey towards a fulfilling new chapter of my life.
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Organizer

Jake Ross 
Organizer
Round Rock, TX
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