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The Ride 2023

A 1,261 mile handcycle ride from Tyngsboro, MA to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, GA from May 20th through June 16th. The ride consisted of cycling through 11 states, averaging 50 miles a day over a four week period. All funds received are being used to support the adolescent program at Shepherd for recreation therapy and practices that assist in the reintegration to society following a traumatic spinal cord injury as a young adult. JTF's contribution to the Shepherd program was $30,000.

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From Jack

"We set out almost a year ago with the idea of a handcycle ride from Massachusetts to Atlanta. There aren’t many playbooks on how to do that, but the same can be said about SCI at times. I can’t sum up the experience — there are too many things to say about each part. What happened during the rides through backroads was far different than the trips through major cities, and isn’t comparable to the days along farmlands and small towns. All I know is that I saw people and places with very different personalities and ways of life. There were places I could ride through every day while never wanting to leave and other places that I was glad to finally get out of. We met many amazing people that I never would have imagined meeting had I not rolled through their neighborhood or business. I feel like I saw enough to know how much this country differs in more ways than one. 

 

I’m thankful to have had the support and dedication of my family. Moving from city to city every day was more work than we all predicted. Thank you to the Shepherd Center for welcoming me back after ten years. It feels great to support an organization that does so much for people who travel from all over the world to receive care. Thank you to High Fives Foundation who help make big ideas come true for adaptive athletes. Thanks to our sponsors Boston Red Sox, Numotion Foundation, Nordson Corporation, and Enterprise Bank who helped jumpstart our campaign. Thank you to everyone who contributed, reached out, and shared our mission over the past four weeks. We exceeded our goal and can’t wait to show everybody what it will be used for. 

 

I’m grateful to have been able to do this. I’m grateful to have the support I do. You spend a lot of time thinking while spending 100+ hours on a bike, and I’m glad we could all make an impact on individuals who need it."

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Proud Sponsors

JTF's "Fun Fund"

At the end of June, the JTF board approved a $30,000 grant to be allocated towards advanced recreation therapy for the adolescent program at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, GA. Recreation therapy is a pivotal program that allows individuals new to SCI to have the opportunity for experiences while guided by Shepherd staff. Outings and recreation play a key part in returning to society with a disability, and helps in learning new ways to do the things we love to do, while boosting independence and mental health.

 

Advanced Recreation Therapy

Shepherd Center’s renowned Recreational Therapy program offers a tremendous array of rehabilitation opportunities. From one’s customized inpatient rehabilitation regimen to a potential multitude of off-campus excursions that inspire community and build confidence. These adventures and excursions are very costly in transportation, staffing, and admission fees, but they are priceless to the patients who are experiencing them. Atlanta offers many exciting opportunities to travel off campus and enjoy building critical life skills and managing public areas with new challenges. Adolescent patients would love to attend sporting events, concerts, theatre, the Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta Zoo, World of Coke, Top Golf, Stone Mountain, Skyview Atlanta, College Football Hall of Fame, seasonal holiday lights viewing at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, hand-cycling the Silver Comet Trail or even pumpkin picking at a nearby farm or fishing on the Chattahoochee River. These occasions to be out and about, and learning to navigate, are coveted by patients and staff alike. The profound way they impact the rehabilitation of mind, body, and spirit is immeasurable. These are true “I can’t” to “I can” moments at their finest!

 

Thank you to our sponsors, donors, and community who made this possible. We will be sure to share stories from Atlanta while this new program gets underway! This is beyond therapy — a new way to push the boundaries of an often inaccessible world.

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44 Chestnut Rd.

Tyngsborough, MA 01879

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