South West Special Recreation SWSRA

My name is John Cancialosi.

I am participating in the Southwest Half Marathon in Palos Park, IL on May 6, 2018  I am a charity "runner" for SWSRA. South West Special Recreation Assosciation.

SWSRA is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization that provides recreation services for individuals, ages 3 and up, with special needs. 100% of the proceeds benefit the SWSRA Scholarship fund to financially assist those in need.  

I am a C-6 quadriplegic and have been for more than 35 years. 
I have never let my disability take over my life and am lucky enough to own my own business.  Several years ago I had a pressure sore and bone infection that was life threatening.    I spent 9 months in bed.  After 6 months of laying in bed I found out that I had to have surgery and  would need to stay in bed another 3 months after that.  

During that time I discovered a  bike called a hand-cycle. It allows people like me, who don't have the use of their legs but have some arm function,  to ride a bike.  I did a lot of reading and I ordered one while still laying in bed. My wife put it together and left it in our bedroom for inspiration.  It was my goal to get out of bed and ride it. I also had to develop a way to get into it and I did that from bed also. I designed a lift that I could attach to the back of my van and had my brother build it.
The first time I rode it I could only go around the block a few times, but it was a start. 
I did my first marathon 1-1/2 yrs later. I finished in less than 5 hours. The original bike was a lot more basic than the one in the picture.  

Three years ago I did the Southwest half marathon and two years ago I became aware that I could be a  charity runner,  I was blown away by the kindness of family, friends, customers and people who we had never met who helped us raise over $3,000.00 for SWSRA.

Life is full of twists and turns and your life can change in an instant, believe me, I know.  I am so lucky to be able to do the things that I do. Please help me contribute to those who may not be as fortunate as we are.

My goal is to raise $3000. My wife and I will match donations up to $1000.00.  
I would like to start collecting today and hope to have all my donations in by April 30, 2018
Thank you for taking the time to read my story. For more information please check out these wonderful people at

Please feel free to share my story.  It may inspire someone!


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Vicki Wrobel Cancialosi 
Tinley Park, IL
South West Special Recreation Association 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.
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