Twenty years ago, at the age of 20, Juan crashed on his motorcycle, injuring his spinal cord. The accident rendered him a T7 paraplegic, confined to a wheelchair. Many of you knew Juan at the time of the accident, and a few of you were there to witness some of his struggles to adapt to his new life. It took years of relearning how to live, but with support from his family and friends and with his incredible determination, Juan rose to the challenge.
Because of his positive attitude towards life and his ability to hide his pain behind his smile, we take for granted the challenges that he struggles with daily. It is not just that he can’t walk. Daily, Juan lifts more than half of his body weight as he transfers from bed to wheelchair to car. Daily, he suffers from chronic back pain. Daily, he experiences muscle spasms in his legs that make accomplishing daily tasks that we take for granted extremely difficult. Despite all this, Juan is one of the most positive people I know. He continues to inspire all of us to live life to the fullest, as father, son, husband, musician, teacher and friend.
At the age of 20, Juan was told that his paralysis was permanent and that he was unlikely to have children. Today, at 40 he is a loving and caring father to our 6 year old son, Noah. If anything, the birth of our son has made it even more imperative that we believe the impossible is possible. Juan has never given up hope of walking again and now he needs our help to believe in him and his dream.
Today, there are very few experimental treatments available for paralysis, but they do exist and at the end of August we will be traveling to have Juan evaluated for possible treatments. Our first trip will be on August 29th and we need all the help we can get financially as we are covering all the costs out-of-pocket.
We appreciate so much you taking the time to read this.
Anna, Juan, Noah.