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Sheltering Arms Blog

Cross-Country Ride for Paralysis Wheelchair Journey to Stop in RVA

Sheltering Arms Institute

Posted on: May 21, 2019 by Jenny Lankford

RICHMOND, Va. (May 10, 2019) – Nearing the end of his 3,000 mile wheelchair journey, Janne Kouri, President and Founder of NextStep, will stop in Richmond before concluding his cross-country Ride for Paralysis in Washington D.C. 

Sunday, May 12, 2019
3 p.m. – Interview opportunities with Kouri and Lombardo
2000 Wilkes Ridge Drive, Henrico, Virginia 23233

Kouri embarked on this journey on March 10 in order to raise funds and awareness for the six million individuals and wounded service members living with paralysis in the U.S. Participants in the Ride for Paralysis fundraising and awareness campaign have biked, run and rolled alongside Kouri for part of or the entire journey across fourteen cities–starting in Los Angeles, Ca.–over the last two months.

Sunday, May 12, Kouri and his dedicated team will stop in Richmond for a construction site tour of Sheltering Arms Institute, a collaboration with VCU Health, before finishing the last leg of the ride. Throughout the course of the trip, Kouri and his dedicated team have visited rehabilitation centers, universities and various communities to provide quality-of-life grants, donate much needed medical equipment and host charity events.

“The idea of riding my wheelchair from LA to DC is both exhilarating and terrifying,” said Kouri. “The journey will be a true test of endurance, strength and camaraderie but we will have a lot of fun along the way. I am looking forward to the unknown, the daily challenges, meeting new people, and experiencing this amazing country from such a unique perspective.”

Kouri has lived with paralysis since August 2006 after diving into a wave and hitting his head on a sandbar, breaking two vertebrae in his neck. After being forced to move 2,000 miles to access the rehab services he needed to survive, he pledged to bring a better solution to those living with paralysis and founded NextStep.

“We are thrilled Janne and the Ride for Paralysis team have chosen to stop in Richmond on their journey across the country and are excited to be a part of this campaign to raise awareness for those living with paralysis,” said Alan Lombardo, CEO of Sheltering Arms Institute.


About NextStep
NextStep is an internationally recognized non-profit that makes life-changing rehab and fitness accessible and affordable to individuals living with paralysis. Founded in 2008 by Janne Kouri, NextStep’s vision is to open paralysis recovery centers across the country to ensure an improved quality-of-life and a continuum of care for this underserved population. By offering state-of-the-art equipment, world class certified trainers, and cutting-edge therapies, NextStep centers provide the best chance for recovery, health, and independence.NextStep’s paralysis recovery centers are located in Los Angeles (HQ), Atlanta, Orlando, Kansas City, Raleigh, Phoenix, and Las Vegas. 

About Sheltering Arms Institute
Sheltering Arms and VCU Health System have formed a joint venture, Sheltering Arms Institute, a state-of-the-science physical rehabilitation hospital. We are bringing together the brand and clinical reputation of Sheltering Arms and the nationally ranked programs of VCU Health. The institute, opening spring 2020, will blend advanced technology, research, and evidence-based clinical care to create an innovative, transdisciplinary model of inpatient rehabilitative care facilitating superior outcomes for patients.

Stephanie Sulmer
Associate VP, Marketing and Business Development
Sheltering Arms Physical Rehabilitation Centers
804-342-4329 (o) or 804-201-5808 (c)

Janne Kouri
President and Founder