For most of us, running a marathon or half-marathon is an incredibly challenging task. But could you imagine crossing that finish line without a leg, or even both of your legs? It sounds impossible, right? Not for the Achilles Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans.
This incredibly brave group of servicemen and women have suffered from both emotional and physical wounds, yet they still have the inspiration, determination and drive to participate in marathons all over the United States, including Detroit. Your Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers are proud to once again help sponsor the Achilles Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans, so they can take part in the 2013 Detroit Free Press Talmer Bank Marathon.
Achilles International assists wounded veterans (often amputees) from all services overcome their injuries through confidence building and physical strength training. This helps the veterans to become capable of participating in athletics, including marathons. Not only do participants receive training, they are provided specialized adaptive devices such as hand-crank bicycles. Unlike push rim wheelchairs, which require users to lean forward when racing, hand cycles are excellent for people with injuries resulting in amputation or paralysis.
This month, Chevrolet is raising funds for the Achilles Freedom Team by participating in the 11th Annual Achilles Hope & Possibility Race on Sunday, June 30 in NYC’s Central Park. In forming a team called the “Stingrays,” Chevrolet will strive to raise $15,000 to fund the building of new hand cycles for the Freedom Team to use during rehabilitation and competitions, including the 36th Annual Detroit Free Press Talmer Bank Marathon. Each year, approximately 5,000 runners participate in the Hope & Possibility Race, including over 500 Achilles athletes with disabilities.
In previous years, hand cycles have had severe design issues, causing them to be fragile and unstable. The new hand cycles will be entirely redesigned by senior design engineering students at Michigan Technological University. The selected team of engineering students is already hard at work solving the issue. When the project reaches completion this summer, all 10 hand cycles will be built and donated to the Achilles organization.
If you would like to donate to the cause and support the Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans, you can do so via the Achilles International online fundraising page.
For more information on the Achilles Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans, please visit www.achillesinternational.org.