Organizations

Obviously, there are a lot of good folks doing great work out there. These are just a few of the organizations that I have had personal experience with and am a fan of.

Transitions Foundation of Guatemala

After I left my job at Google and before I began my pre-medical studies at Harvard, I volunteered with this organization in Antigua, Guatemala, as well as learning some Spanish. There are lots of NGOs and non-profits in Guatemala, but Fondacion Transiciones is really the main organization devoted to helping disabled Guatemalans get the necessary equipment and medical care to allow them to lead productive and meaningful lives again. Some incredibly small number (like, 3-4%) of disabled Guatemalans work, mainly due to the fact that they cannot afford the necessary equipment (like a wheelchair or a prosthetic) to leave the home, in addition to the social stigma attached to having a disability. Navigating the Guatemalan medical system is challenging enough, let alone doing so when you are illiterate, do not speak Spanish (as some of the Mayans and other indigenous groups do not) and just do not have the wherewithal to do anything except try and put food on the table.

I documented my experience in my old blog: http://guatemalog.blogspot.com/

 

Telluride Adaptive Sports Program (TASP)

I love Telluride and I love this program and group of staff and volunteers (do I have enough conjunctions in there?).The organization works with children and adults with cognitive and/or physical challenges. We got acquainted via a friend who suggested I look into them while I was in Ouray, CO. We hit it off, and since then, I have been returning to ski at Telluride each winter. Last season was a bit of a break through, as I figured out how to backcountry ski again with one ski and outriggers. I have also helped instructors with movement analysis, to help them prepare for there ski instructor certification exams.

 

Paradox Sports

My relationship with Paradox Sports began in February 2013 when, before I touched rock or pulled on plastic post-accident, I decided that the best thing for me to do would be to ice-climb. Of course. My first experiences of struggling to get to the base of the crag in North Conway, NH, lumbering up on top-rope some short routes, hoping that I didn’t have a bowel/bladder accident in my pants. transformed into repeated trips to Ouray, CO to ice-climb with them, and now, in 2015, I’ve gotten strong enough to attend as a volunteer (as opposed to a participant) this year. Getting out on ice that first time reminded me that my real home is outside, and that whatever I did to try and oppose that, this is an integral part of me that is immutable.

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