Man riding wheelchair across country makes pit stop in Albuquerque | KOB 4
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Man riding wheelchair across country makes pit stop in Albuquerque

Patrick Hayes
March 31, 2019 04:03 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A man with paralysis is riding his wheelchair to Washington D.C. to raise awareness for people with disabilities.

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Janne Kouri started his journey on March 11 in Los Angeles and stopped in Albuquerque on Saturday.

“I'm riding my wheelchair from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. and we're raising awareness about the challenges that 6 million Americans with paralysis face,” he said.

According to Kouri, most insurances give people with paralysis 36 days of rehab before having them discharged from a hospital.

“And if you don’t have access to rehab and fitness – and you’re living with, for example, a spinal cord injury, there’s a very good likelihood you’ll suffer from secondary complications,” he said.

Kouri injured his neck during a diving incident about 12 years ago.

He said going through the healthcare system helped him learn a lot about the issues and the gaps that exist.

“So because of that, I started a nonprofit organization called NextStep 10 years ago and we build and operate state-of-the-art progressive rehab centers for people with paralysis.”

Kouri is hoping to raise money to help subsidize some of the treatments that people with paralysis receive.

He also hopes to build similar rehab centers in the towns he stops at.

“So when we’re going through cities like Albuquerque and others along our trip, we’re trying to educate and inspire people to bring these types of services to their city so that anyone living with paralysis has access to the best rehab and fitness services for their entire life.”

For more information about his trip and to donate, click here.

Credits

Patrick Hayes

Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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