44: Kim Stemple: We Finish Together

October 27, 2017
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All those race medals... we hang them on our walls, and then what? Kim Stemple and her organization "We Finish Together" is making these medals really (really) matter.

All medals are donated by a community of runners, swimmers, singers, triathletes all across the US to be given with a handwritten ribbon message and handmade tag to someone who needs to know they have the support and care that they may need to get them through whatever challenges face them. No "need bar", other than keep the medal close, know that we are always holding your hand.

Start a "FLEET"

A Fleet is a “chapter” of We Finish Together. If you are interested in starting your own fleet, we ask that you please reach out to us at one of the emails below or through our Facebook messaging to let us know: http://wefinishtogether.com/fleets.html 

We Finish Together on Social

Website: http://wefinishtogether.com/index.html
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wefinishtogether/ 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wefinishtogether/ 

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Producer: Carl Stover Music
Host: Meredith Atwood

Copyright 2017, Meredith Atwood, LLC

42: Rob Jones: Double-Amputee & a Month of Marathons

October 13, 2017
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Rob Jones: Double-Amputee Marine is Training to Run 31 Marathons in 31 Days in 31 Cities.

"I grew up on a farm in the small town of Lovettsville, Virginia. I graduated from Loudoun Valley High School in 2003, and from Virginia Tech in 2007.  In my junior year at Virginia Tech, I joined the Marine Corps Reserve as a combat engineer at Bravo Company, 4th Combat Engineer Battalion in Roanoke, VA. In the Marine Corps, combat engineers are responsible for a multitude of disciplines but the primary role that I and my fellow combat engineers undertook was the use of explosives, and the detection of buried IEDs and weapons caches. 

"I deployed to Habbaniyah, Iraq in 2008, and again to Delaram/Sangin, Afghanistan in 2010. During my deployment to Afghanistan while operating as a part of a push into Taliban territory, I was tasked with clearing an area with a high likelihood of containing an IED. It was in this capacity that I was wounded in action by a land mine. The injury resulted in a left knee dis-articulation and a right above knee amputation of my legs. 

"I was taken to National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD for the initial phases of my recovery, which consisted primarily of healing and closing my wounds. I was then transferred to Walter Reed Army Medical Center for the remainder of my rehabilitation. At Walter Reed I was fitted with prosthetics, and worked very hard to learn how to walk with two bionic knees. I also used the time to relearn how to do other things with my new challenge including riding a bicycle, running, and rowing. I took naturally to rowing, and since I am always in search of a challenge that I can use to become better, I decided to train for the 2012 Paralympics.

"After being honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in December, 2011, I immediately moved to Florida to train with my rowing partner, Oksana. We spent five months there, and during that time period won the trunk and arms mixed double sculls trial race held by USRowing to become the USRowing national team for our boat class, and also won the Final Paralympic Qualification Regatta in Belgrade to qualify for the Paralympics. We then moved to Charlottesville, Virginia to continue training until the Paralympics in September, 2012. Our hard work paid off for us as we brought home a bronze medal in our event. I continued in the sport of rowing through the 2013 season, where my partner and I placed 4th in the 2013 World Rowing Championships.  

"On October 14, 2013 I began a solo supported bike ride across America which started in Bar Harbor, Maine, and ended in Camp Pendleton, California.  The ride was 5,180 miles long and completed on April 13, 2014, a total of 181 days after it began.  Over the course of the ride, along with my team, I raised $126,000 for the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes, the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, and Ride 2 Recovery, three charities which aid wounded veterans.

"Between Fall 2014, and Summer 2016, I trained in the sport of triathlon with the intention to compete in the 2016 Paralympic Games.  I saw considerable personal improvement, but was unable to qualify.

"Currently I am planning to complete a month long back to back marathon challenge in which I will run 31 marathons in 31 days in 31 different major cities, once again raising awareness and funds for wounded veteran charities.

Website: http://www.robjonesjourney.com/monthofmarathons 
The Month of Marathons: http://www.robjonesjourney.com/mission/ 

The Podcast on Social:
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Producer: Carl Stover Music
Host: Meredith Atwood

Copyright 2017, Meredith Atwood, LLC

23: Scott Rigsby: Unthinkable & Making an Impact

June 16, 2017
00:0000:00

Double Amputee & Making an Impact. Scott Rigsby was 18 years old and looking forward to his first semester at college. He was riding in the back of a pickup truck in rural Georgia with his friends after a hard day of landscaping work. He was talking about sports and his plans for the weekend, when suddenly the truck was hit by a passing 18-wheeler. The force threw him underneath a 3-ton attached trailer while the vehicle dragged him over 320 feet. His back suffered third degree burns, his right leg was severed off, and his left leg hung barely intact.

Rigsby endured countless doctor and hospital visits, 26 surgeries and additional amputation. After almost 20 years of depression, fear and uncertainty, he decided to change his life and seek his purpose for living, fueled by a prayer that if God would open a door for him, he would go through it.  
That door opened, and a relentless and determined Rigsby arose and never looked back. On October 13, 2007, after enduring the elements for 16 hours and 43 minutes, Scott Rigsby became the first double amputee in the world to finish the Hawaiian Ironman triathlon with prosthetics at the 140.6-mile World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Rigsby used “swim legs” to navigate the difficult 2.4 mile ocean swim, “bike legs” to cycle 112 miles through the heat and gusting winds of the Big Island lava fields on a standard road bike and “run legs” to complete the marathon segment in darkness and intense pain. 
Scott’s journey to achieving endurance world records taught him many lessons about himself and the possibilities for others. He realized in order to fulfill his purpose, he had to help the physically challenged who endured similar circumstances but lacked the proper tools, support teams and mentorship.  

To expand his mission worldwide, Rigsby founded the Scott Rigsby Foundation.  Through his inspirational efforts, Rigsby remains true to his simple prayer:

Maybe they all can look at me and say, "You know what? Life is tough, but if this guy can make it, then I can make it." 

The Scott Rigsby Foundation

Founded in 2008, The Scott Rigsby Foundation, Inc. (SRF) is a Georgia nonprofit corporation dedicated to inspire, inform and enable individuals with disabilities to live a healthy, active lifestyle, and contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Our primary goal is to promote the health and fitness of individuals with physical challenges by improving access to Prosthetic and Orthotic (P&O) care and resources, while supporting programs that advance prosthetic technology and empower individual lifestyle change. We desire to motivate individuals to set goals and cross their own personal finish lines. 

Learn More at: http://www.scottrigsbyfoundation.org 


Read the Stories
http://www.scottrigsbyfoundation.org/the-stories.html 

The IRONMAN 70.3 Augusta Team
http://www.scottrigsbyfoundation.org/the-augusta-team.html 

Register Here: https://www.crowdrise.com/IRONMANScottRigsbyFoundation 

The Scott Rigsby Foundation is the exclusive charity partner of the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 Augusta. Athletes can sign up to raise funds which enable injured and highly deployed military heroes to race with you as individuals or team members.

The Podcast on Social:
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Producer: Carl Stover Music
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Copyright 2017, Meredith Atwood, LLC