As the plane slowly descended through the clouds towards LAX, I closed my eyes to think of the successful athletes this city has bred for decades. A film strip of many names and faces popped up in my head: Jackie Joyner-Kersee, a UCLA track and basketball star and a 4-time Olympian, she was ranked among the all-time greatest athletes in the heptathlonas as well as long jump, a big role model to young women athletes;"Magic" Johnson, picked in the 1979 draft, he spent all 13 years of his NBA career in Los Angeles leading the Lakers to 5 national titles; Elgin Baylor, an 11-time All-Star and Hall of Famer ranks among the top 25 in points and rebounds in NBA history; Candace Cable, a 9-time Paralympian and the first woman athlete to compete both in winter and summer Paralympic games; and Dave Kiley, a 6-time Paralympian, legendary wheelchair basketball player who has won 13 Paralympic medals, 11 of them gold in 3 different sports, head coach of the 2012 London U.S. Women's Paralympic Wheelchair Basketball team. This dreamy film strip was interrupted when our plane touched the ground. I was brought to reality. I was in Los Angeles and was looking forward to finding out what it had to offer!
ATTENTION: Tearjerker Alert!
Here is a truly special story for you, ABC Nation. It brought tears to our eyes when we realized what was happening.
About 2 years since we published a young gentleman's story after he won the ABC Medical scholarship, we received the letter below from Paula, his mom earlier this week:
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men after skin cancer. In fact, every 20 minutes another American man dies from prostate cancer.
ABC Medical, a national provider of medical supplies, redefined their mission and purpose since CEO Keith Jones and a group of seasoned healthcare professionals acquired the company in 2012. “Companies like us typically focus on volume and margins as well as manage through the difficult world of reimbursement. While all of those things are critical for a successful business, to us, it is quite frankly boring, uninspiring, and certainly not a mission to be proud of. After attending a few adaptive sports events with my son, and meeting some of our customers fiercely competing on the basketball court, our mission became obvious – To Do Well by Doing Good“ says ABC Medical’s Keith Jones.
My name is Jonathan Alex Villarreal.
I turned 36 on July 19th. Today is August 24th, 2017. I writing to share my story with you to reflect back on the past 10 years of my life since my tragic accident when I almost didn't survive.
Just like most PER4MAXers out there, she's an adaptive sports enthusiast and has tried many different sports, but found her passion in wheelchair basketball. She got involved six years ago, when she saw her current team Miami Valley Raptors doing an exhibition game at an expo. "
As soon as their game was over, I went up to them and asked what I had to do to try out for the team.
I began wheelchair bowling in 2004 as a recreational activity. Little did I know how this sport would help build health/wellness and most importantly community within my life. I joined the American Wheelchair Bowling Association (AWBA) after being a spectator at the 2005 Las Vegas Invitational and became a lifetime member in 2012. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed bowling in as many tournaments as possible across the country. While serving on the Board of Directors with the AWBA, I have developed a strong appreciation for the sport of bowling, as well as the competition, relationships, and opportunities the AWBA provides.