PushNationFest.org | Push Nation Festival: People getting together in the paralysis community
Push Nation Fest is an event designed to bring the paralysis community together in one place, focused on pushing each other to learn, dream and achieve more than ever before. Featuring groundbreaking technology, captivating entertainment and hands-on workshops.
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Exciting news for the Camargo Family and Stay In Step!

Wheels for Warriors, will be donating a Dodge Power Master Work Van to the Camargo family and Stay In Step Spinal Cord Injury Recovery Center, April 23 at the Push Nation Fest. It’s such a great honor to have such amazing organizations come together for a great cause at our event!

­Wheels for Warriors­ is a program through Operation Support Our Troops, Inc. that strives to provide wounded soldiers and their families with adaptive vehicles. Since it was founded in 2006, Wheels for Warriors has presented 33 adaptive vehicles to wounded soldiers.

Wheel for Warriors won’t be the only one with adaptive vehicles at our event. The Mobility Van Store will also be showcasing a few of their adaptive vehicles throughout the Push Nation Fest weekend. So don’t forget to stop by and take a look!

Stay In Steps’ Journey

Rumolo “Romy” Camargo was in the Special Forces touring Afghanistan when he was injured; a bullet hit the back of his neck and left him paralyzed from the neck down in 2008. Despite the doctors’ expectations and his battle to live, Romy was able to make an impressive recovery. When he returned home, he became unstoppable. He didn’t let his paralysis stop him from raising money for charities, delivering inspirational speeches, and even traveling to Project Walk in Orlando for therapy throughout the week. With the support and help of his wife Gaby Camargo, now Founder and Director of Stay In Step, they envisioned a facility that was more accessible for them and others like them in Tampa. “A center that you can go and guarantee your rehab and at the same time giving the same opportunity to the rest of the community living with spinal cord injury.” Gaby remembers saying.

On June 20th 2015, Stay In Step Spinal Cord Injury Recovery Center opened its doors to military and civilian SCI patients thanks to the donation from Toyota Motor North America. The non-profit recovery center provides state of the art recovery equipment to SCI patients in the Tampa, FL community and surrounding areas. Stay In Step has also received generous donations from Haley VA Medical Center and The University of South Florida. Stay In Step has combined the Civilian and Veteran community’s with injuries and the people that care for them through a combination of physical therapy, close-knit support groups, and mental strength-training. The 4500 sq. ft. recovery center is the only one of its kind in Tampa.

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Get ready to laugh with Comedian Bill Zapf

You definitely don’t want to miss out on non-stop laughs during this year’s comedy show with Rolling Comic Bill Zapf at the annual Push Nation Fest.

Bill has always had a love for comedy and making people laugh his entire life! After his hockey accident, he didn’t let that stop him from continuing to do one of the things he loved. He’s won numerous comedy competitions including Tampa Improv’s 2014 “Clash if the Comics” and worked with other great comedians such as Jim Breuer, Josh Blue, and Carl Labove. He even became Rosie O’Donnell’s opener when she came down to the Sunshine State! And you’ve probably heard him on SiriusXM Radio before.

“I see things a little differently,” he says. His material ranges from his edgy approach towards his disability and his life as a father of 5 as well as a husband. He’ll even answer all those questions you were too scared to ask, but are dying to hear! So don’t miss out this rolling comic’s performance’s at the Push Nation Fest April 22, 2016 at 6pm!

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Mike Phillips, center, works drills with the team during the Gwinnett HEAT basketball practice at the Monarch School in Duluth, GA on January 30, 2013.  The HEAT is a wheelchair basketball team under the coaching of Len Bourdeaux, Lynnette Swanson and Dain Weigle under the supervision of Gwinnett County Public Schools Coordinator for Adapted Sports Mike Phillips.

Adaptive Sports That Don’t Require Adaptive Equipment

If you love to play sports but don’t want to get the adaptive equipment to play then you are in luck! We have found some adaptive friendly sports that you can play without having to worry about getting specialized equipment.

Table Tennis

Table Tennis allows wheelchair users and able-bodied people to compete head to head against one another- making it an inclusive sport. This sport also accommodates multiple levels of players and is many times integrated into SCI rehab programs.

Bowling

Unlike many sports, Bowling lets you enjoy food, drinks and good times with friends or family. There is no equipment the bowling alley can’t supply you that you may need making it affordable as well.

Basketball

Basketball can be physically demanding, yet rewarding. Certain aspects of the game can be modified if requested by the needs of certain players. But in the end, all you need is a hoop, a ball and a love for the game!

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Spring and Summer Wheelchair Accessible Activities on a Budget

There are a lot of ways to have fun when the weather is starting to warm up! But sometimes you have to figure out what kind of fun you can have on a budget. We’ve come up with some fun, affordable and wheelchair accessible ideas!

Picnics in the Park

Most parks are easily accessible for you to sit at picnic tables or go watch live music. This is a fun way for you to spend some relaxing time with both friends and family on a nice warm evening.

Museums

Most museum entry fees are affordable and sometimes may even be free. They are also easy to move around in for wheelchair users and typically supply elevators if there is more than one level to the building for easy transportation. Museums are a great way to discover culture, history and classic masterpieces with the people you choose to spend your time with.

Family Game Night

Game nights can create fun family competition and they usually include some pretty tasty snacks. Not only is it a great time to bond with your family, but your home is already made accessible for you so there are no worries about getting around.

Horseback Riding and Fishing

Both of these activities can be therapeutic and fun for you and your family or friends to do together. Check out both Adaptive Horseback Riding and Adaptive Fishing


Volunteering
Volunteering is the least costly, but is the most rewarding. Try to find an organization with a cause you are passionate about and get a team of friends and family to give back with you!

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Get Ready for Spring: DIY Raised Garden Box

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Put on your gardening gear because spring is just around the corner! A great way for you to connect with nature this year could be through creating your own raised gardening box. Here you can plant seeds or harvest veggies, which will in turn supply you with a gentle workout as well. The box could take about a day or two to build and below are some DIY instructions!


Step 1:

  • Decide where you want the garden
  • Make sure the ground is flat and even so that it is safe for wheelchairs

 

Step 2:

  • Measure the size of your raised bed
  • Should be 18-30 inches tall and no more than 2 feet across so that they can reach across
  • Can be any length (example: 8 feet long)

 

Step 3:

  • Buy and cut lumber
  • Need eight 2X6 boards that are 8 feet long and eight 2X6 boards that are 2 feet long, plus six boards of any thickness that are 2 feet long to use as braces

 

Step 4:

  • Lay four of the 8-foot boards flat on the ground to create the panel that is 8 feet long and 2 feet high/tall
  • Use a hammer and nails to attach on of the 2 foot braces in the middle to hold the boards together

 

Step 5:

  • Build another panel, like above, with the other 8 foot board and on the braces

 

Step 6:

  • Build two similar panels with the 2 foot boards only for these you will want a brace on each end

 

Step 7:

  • Stand up one of the 2 foot panels next to one of the 8 foot panels so that the brace at the end of the 2 foot panel runs alongside the end of the 8-foot board
  • Nail them together to make a corner

 

Step 8:

  • Make a similar corner with the other panels

 

Step 9:

  • Nail the two corners together to make a box and stand it upright

 

Step 10:

  • Fill the box with a mixture of three or four parts topsoil and one part compost

 

Step 11:

  • Plant veggies, flowers, small berry bushes and other plants of your choice into the soil mix
  • Almost anything can be grown in these beds except for larger trees

 

Step 12:

  • Top off the raised bed with some fresh soil and compost every spring to make sure it stays full

 

Last Step: ENJOY!

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Extreme Sports for Those with Disabilities

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Just because you may live with a Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) does not mean you can’t participate in living life on the edge with some extreme sports! There are a variety of sports that can help keep your competitive nature alive.

Downhill 4-Cross Biking

With this sport you ascend a mountain via a chairlift or a 4X4 vehicle; when you get to the top you let gravity do most of the work for you on the way down.

Sit Ski

There are different types of skies for people with different disabilities.

The Mono Ski: Developed for those with good upper body strength

The Bi-Ski: For those who prefer to ski in a sitting position, such as people with SCI or MS

The Three Ski: Developed for those with one good leg and two good arms

The Four Track Ski: For those with two legs and arms, natural or prosthetic, and are capable of standing independently or with the aid of outriggers

Wheelchair Skateboarding

Wheelchair Skateboarding is also known as “Hardcore Sitting”. This sport uses manual wheelchairs due to their lightweight material and ability to gain momentum. You can do many tricks, but a very popular trick to learn is doing back flips!

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President Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter Become Ambassadors for Shriners Hospitals for Children

President Jimmy Carter appeared in The Shriners Hospitals for Children’s Valentine’s Day themed PSA as part of the announcement that Rosalynn and himself had become sponsors for the hospital.

“Rosalynn and I are very pleased to be helping Shriners Hospitals for Children raise awareness of their efforts to provide life-changing care for children throughout the world,” said Jimmy Carter. “We have been following the philanthropic efforts of Shriners Hospitals for many years and we look forward to helping people understand they are a resource available when seeking medical care for their children.”

The former Presidents involvement will help the hospital to bring greater awareness to their mission of improving the lives of children in need of different specialized medical care. Shriners Hospitals supply specialty care for children with a variety of conditions, but those specifically with Spinal Cord Injuries, Orthopedic Conditions or Burns.

Shriners Hospital for Children has 22 locations in The United States, Canada and Mexico.

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UK School Children Experience Life in a Wheelchair

Both teachers and students at Cuddington and Dinton C of E Primary School in The United Kingdom are taking turns to spend a day in a wheelchair. The idea behind this is to support the Stroke Mandeville Spinal Research organization as part of the charity’s “Wheels at Work” fundraising campaign.

The mission of “Wheels at Work” is to improve the quality of life for people living with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI). The campaign helps give individuals the opportunity to get a small look into the challenges of everyday wheelchair users.

Both students and teachers went to an interactive assembly to learn about SCI and then began their “Wheels at Work” week by using wheelchairs provided by local specialists. The campaign wanted to create empathy within the children and teachers for those who live their daily lives with Spinal Cord Injuries.

Both students and teachers were extremely passionate about the cause and are still fundraising money for the charity.

Wheels at Work Video

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“Wheel Talk, Wheel Issues”

84d6096e-72a0-4538-a56e-158ef6199c7c_fb_img_1441217731562[1]Everyone loves a good talk show, which is why Margarita Elizondo, AKA “Ms. Hot Wheels”, decided to make her own focusing on living life with paralysis. The online talk show called “Wheel Life, Wheel Issues” is a dynamic 30 minute to an hour weekly podcast that is broadcast through Blog Talk Radio; and with the New Year in full swing Margarita plans to take her show onto YouTube.

The show is a three-part series that is broken down into English, Spanish and Faith-Based. The Mission of “Wheel Talk, Wheel Issues” is to help inform, inspire and create awareness regarding issues related to life as a wheelchair user.

Almost all guests that visit on the show are those who also use wheelchairs, or are experts in their fields related to SCI. Listeners can also call in with questions or their own personal experiences relating to the topic on the show that day.

“Wheel Talk, Wheel Issues” is broadcasted live every first and third Friday morning of the month starting at 11:00 AM PST.

You can listen here at: www.blogtalkradio.com/wheeltalkwheelissues

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Taking Part in Adaptive Sports

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Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is extremely important when dealing with SCI. One of the best ways to do this is through taking part in Adaptive Sports. These sports help promote fitness, break down barriers, reveal hidden character, teach essential life lessons and expand individual potential. Overall, it is an effective way to plow through the challenges posed by your disability.

Physical and Psychological Benefits

Physically:

  • Can increase strength
  • Create better agility
  • Improved circulation
  • Boosted Stamina
  • Enhanced Flexibility
  • Continuously burning calories

 

Psychological:

  • Increase in self-esteem and confidence
  • Increased overall desire to succeed  
  • Positive impact on concentration and planning, as well as analytical and social skills, and leadership roles

 

Adaptive Sports You Can Participate In

There are a ton of adaptive sports that you can take part in, it’s just a matter of finding what fits you best. Here we can give you some examples of awesome adaptive sports you might want to try out for yourself!

 

What’s Next for You and Adaptive Sports

Not only can you join clubs or teams based on the sport you choose, but you can also take your skills to the next level by participating in the Paralympics. The Paralympics are a great way to put your sportsmanship to the test and to make new friends and have fun.paralympic-main_2322819b[1]

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