We checked in with Davis again this week since he just started training! He is planning on competing in swimming, hand cycling and quad rugby at next year’s Veterans Wheelchair Games in Tampa. The swimming training is going to wait until spring, but Davis said he was thrilled to be getting started with hand cycling and quad rugby (also known as Murderball!).
To kick things off, Davis joined 500 other cyclists in the Ride to Defeat ALS at Walsingham Park in Clearwater, FL on November 3rd. Joined by his 17 year old son, Davis completed the 25 mile ride on an adaptive hand cycle. He competes every year to increase awareness of ALS.
ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that progressively paralyzes its victims, attacking nerve cells and pathways in the brain or spinal cord. Patients are robbed of the ability to walk, eat, speak, and eventually breathe.
Upon diagnosis, patients are given just two to five years to live. ALS can strike anyone at any time, and although there is no known cure, recent scientific breakthroughs provide hope for the future. Military veterans are twice as likely to be diagnosed with ALS. The connection is unknown.
A common side effect of ALS is incontinence as patients lose muscle control. Joined by campaigners including Augie Neito, Men’s Liberty works with hundreds of men with ALS to maintain their independence as long as possible.
Davis is also looking forward to his first quad rugby tournament this weekend in Jacksonville, FL. “I’m a little nervous but I’m looking forward to it” he said. “There is a lot of trash talk in rugby games but I think I can keep up!”
The Jacksonville Mini Rugby Tournament brings together teams of adaptive athletes for fun and fiercely competitive games all across Florida! We’ll check back in next week to see how the tournament went and share some photos of the game affectionately known as Murderball.
Men’s Liberty is a proud sponsor of Mission: ABLE and an enthusiastic supporter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America. For more information on the Wheelchair Games, check out their website: www.wheelchairgames.va.gov