Fun activities for wounded vets, disabled individuals at Adaptive Adventures

March 17, 2013 7:04:35 AM PDT
Twelve years ago, Adaptive Adventures was created to give people with disabilities life-changing experiences through different outdoor recreational activities.

One of the groups they work with is the Wounded Warrior Project.

Adaptive Adventures has something for everyone from children to adults. Working with the Wounded Warrior Project is giving veterans a new, healthy and positive outlook on life.

"I've skied, I've kayaked, I've skydived. Some of my friends and I have done some mountain climbing recently," said James Dahan, who became disabled eight years ago. "I suffered from multiple blast concussions during my service in Iraq and also broke my foot in Iraq and continued six more months on my mission on my broken foot, which ended up needing reconstructive surgery."

James was in the Marine Corps. Two and half years ago, he was introduced to Adaptive Adventures.

"They introduced me to them through some water sport program, kayaking out in Aurora, actually," he said.

Kayaking is one program offered year round. Off season, it's at the University of Illinois Chicago's pool.

Linda Tomsebics is adaptive program manager.

"Right now, it's just for the Wounded Warrior Project, but what we are doing is a four-week kayak series that will allow the warriors to participate in multi-day kayak excursions once we hit the summer time," said Linda.

In addition to the warriors, there are a number of volunteers to help with this program.

"One thing that I've definitely found with Adaptive Adventures is my disabilities are going to be with me for the rest of my life. However, they aren't going to define me for the rest of my life, you know. I define who I am and what I'm able to do, and Adaptive Adventures has helped me find a way to do that without my identity being my disability," said James.

If you are interested in getting involved with Adaptive Adventures go to www.adaptiveadventures.org.


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