Charity Events - Bike Donation for a Wounded Warrior
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03-23-08, 02:38 PM
I am writing in behalf of my nephew Jonathan Pruziner, a Wounded Warrior currently rehabilitating at Walter Reed. Jonathan was mortally wounded by an IED in Baghdad on Sept 9, 2007 while serving with the US Army, 3rd Stryker Brigade. Through advanced battlefield medicine and a quick evac through Germany to Walter Reed, he miraculously survived the explosion. The extent of his wounds are too numerous to list here, but because of the excellent care he received at Walter Reed; he is on the road to recovery. Although there are still several serious health issues that will undoubtedly affect him for the rest of his life, his most lasting physical injury is the below the knee amputation of his left leg.
At this point in Jon's rehab, he has been fitted with a prosthesis and continues physical therapy with slow, but promising results. The experts believe that now is the time to begin his transition back to a normal active life of a 21 year old.
Jon has always enjoyed cycling, and would very much like to use the sport as a means for his continued recovery. Unfortunately, neither he nor his parents are able to afford the type of bicycle capable of serious training and his subsequent goal of competition.
There in lies the reason for this letter. It would be deeply appreciated by both he and his family if we could possibly find a bike company or other organization that would be willing to donate a bicycle that would help him with this difficult rehabilitation and fulfill his dream of one day competing at a club level.
Can anyone on the forum help us with this search?
03-23-08, 03:30 PM
The first suggestion I would have would be to contact the Public Affairs Officer at Walter Reed. In straight talk, this has the makings of a good public interest story. The PAO has media contacts as well as access to Governmental rehab programs that would be able to acquire the bike.
I don't know that I can dip into the funds with bicycles again, but I might be able to make some suggestions. First a couple of questions though. How long does it look like he will be at Walter Reed? Where is he from?
I recently got my American Legion post to cough up a fair chunk of change to fund some bike parts and accessories for some guys in Iraq, and the cranky old guys wouldn't see the difference if I tried to tap that again. We got some good publicity about it on the state (Virginia) level though, so maybe we could coax another Post in the area to step forward. We've got a District meeting coming up in 2 weeks and I might be able to shame someone into doing something. If we can get some local funding I can probably get a dealer price on a bike for him.
But if he's headed somewhere else soon, that I would suggest looking at a Legion and/or VFW Post where he's headed. They may want to do something, and a bike isn't the easiest thing in the world to relocate.
I wouldn't count on a bike company to donate a bike. In my limited experience the industry is not necessarily eager to support our troops. I had to pick up the tab on shipping the stuff we bought because the distributor would not offer any sort of discounts or even pick up the shipping to us, while the local shop got us everything at their cost.
03-23-08, 06:18 PM
Jon is from Long Island, NY. He'll most likely be at WR until Sept 08. You're right about the big bike companies, so far both Trek & Cannondale both politely said no. Business is business. (That's something I'll remember the next time I buy a bike). Thank you all for looking. Please keep the ideas coming!
I may be making a visit trip to Walter Reed April 16...PM me his name if you think he might be up for a short visit and I'll see if we can get something going. Below the knee sounds to me like he can probably ride without any significant modifications. I'll start poking around and see if I can arrange something along the lines of an entry level road bike. Rock Creek Park is just outside Walter Reed and I know a lot of people ride there. And as a side note, I just thought of it. We have a user here by the name of Dr. Pete who is a surgeon at Walter Reed, and he rides. Might be worth looking into for some physician supervised therapy!
I'll see what I can do about the bike, and feel free to PM me with any questions or anything else I can help out with.
And if the bike materializes, I'd be honored to head out for a ride--road or mountain. I know some great rides right out of the hospital... :beer:
I'm a general surgeon at Walter Reed, and I'm glad to hear your nephew is doing so well. Hang in there!
03-24-08, 06:07 AM
can you give an idea of sizing and what kind of bike you ar really looking for
03-24-08, 10:49 AM
Jon hopes to find a road bike geared for serious training as opposed to casual rides in the park on sunday afternoon. (not that there's anything wrong with that) LOL He is 6'2.
I've got s semi-firm commitment from my VFW post (7589) and the word is out at the Legion (post 10) to get this thing going. We'll make this happen.
Just an update on this. I've got an account to channel funds through and have so far raised a fair amount. I've set a deadline of May 10, then we are going to take the funds and buy Jon a gift certificate, and I will bring him in to the shop and get him fitted, and get him and his new trusty steed back to Fisher House.
I had the chance to meet Jon yesterday. He's a sharp, very optimistic young man. If anyone would like to make a donation, please PM me and I'll get you the needed information. All contributors will receive a full accounting of what was raised and how it was spent when we're finished.
Some pictures from today: http://picasaweb.google.com/twahl67/2008_05_29
Mission accomplished. We got Jon on a Specialized Tarmac Elite along with helmet, shoes, computer, etc.
Paging Dr. Pete! Drop me a note and I'll get you in touch with Jon. He's ready to ride.
05-29-08, 10:23 PM
Ourstanding! Tell him I said he looks great up on 2 wheels :D
Will pass the word on. Jon is amazing. He actually rode the Wounded Warrior ride last month on a borrowed bike, there's video coverage of the kickoff from the White House here: http://www.c-spanarchives.org/library/cache/ASX_205036-1-0-0.asx
05-30-08, 07:43 AM
Great Jobs guys making this happen.
So glad this got done! I'm riding in the Fat Tire Classic this month which benefits the National Sports Center for the Disabled and will add Jon to those that I'm riding for.
06-06-08, 03:49 PM
I humbly started this thread looking for help in getting a training bike for Jon after being rejected by all of the major USA bike manufactures. Tom Wahl took up the cause, and worked tirerlessly to make it happen. Just as he did obtaining over $4,000 in bike parts for our troops in Iraq. Tom, a Gulf War veteran; worked with his network of brothers at American Legion and VFW posts to secure generous donations from them. With the help of A-1 Cycling of Manassas (and Herndan) Virginia who provided the bike at dealer cost, Cpl Jon Pruziner is riding towards a new future. Although they ask for no recognition, our family would like to thank Tom and his band of brothers.
American Legion Post 10
VFW Post 7589
American Legion Post 1711
American Legion Post 247
American Legion Post 364
Walter & Elaine Wood
Paul F. Brown
A-1 Cycling Centers
Manassas & Herndan, VA
Semper Fi ! Tom
06-10-08, 10:04 AM
I'd like to thank everyone who helped Jon get his bike. I had the honor of riding with Jon in the Wounded Warrior Project Soldier Ride White House to Lighthouse Challenge. As the National Tour Director for the program I am priveleged to meet and ride bikes with an amazing group of men and women.
I am sorry to hear that the big bike companies did not come through with a bike for Jon but grass roots efforts are sometimes more successful. I would like to report that Trek did donate 25 bikes and 100 each shorts, helmets & gloves for use in this year's Soldier Ride National Tour.
Our next Soldier Ride is the Empire State Challenge, July 23-26. This ride will start in Manhattan followed by two days of riding on Long Island. The last day of riding is also a fundraiser ride in East Hampton with metric century and 35 mile options. For more information please see www.empirestatechallenge.org (http://www.empirestatechallenge.org).
For more information on WWP and Soldier Ride please see our website at www.woundedwarriorproject.org (http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org).
WWP Soldier Ride National Tour Director
PS Here is a picture of Jon at the White House being greeted by President Bush
Wow, I hadn't looked in this forum for a while and missed a couple of significant posts. I'm humbled by recognition for was essentially just some coordination effort, some e-mails, and a few phone calls. I'm grateful that Ken brought Jon to my attention.
I haven't had a chance to ride with Jon yet, but I did get to spend the better part of Saturday with him and a couple of his comrades. I am just blown away by the positive attitude these guys have. They truly are America's finest.
Jon has invited me to ride in the July ride, but I am unfortunately already to commited to another event, this one for Marine Parents United. I'll get to ride with him soon though!
08-15-08, 01:00 PM
Just an update. Jon participated in the Wound Warriors Empire State Challenge last week.
This was a three stage 100 mile ride from Manhattan to the Montauk Light house. This ride was the second in a series of six Wounded Warrior bike rides accross the country to raise funds and awareness about the program to help returning disabled Vets. It was Jon's first big ride with his new bike.
Here are some videos of the event: www.livevideo.com/cardmankev (http://www.livevideo.com/cardmankev)
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