While at the games, we had the opportunity to meet one of the veterans, and executive director for Paralyzed Veterans of America, Sherman Gillums, Jr. to find out what has inspired him since his injury in 2004.
“Coming to the games was the life changing moment for me. It was the first time I was around hundreds of people just like me. The energy and rush of adrenaline of competing gave me the motivation to go back to school, go back to work and most importantly have fun.
It’s natural after a catastrophic injury to experience a period of depression. When you are [at the wheelchair games], it changes your perspective. The nurses and therapists try to keep you motivated but it isn’t the same as being with nearly six hundred other veterans facing the same challenges you are. There is no greater motivation than that.”
“In fact,” laughed Gillums, “At the games, the ‘walkers’ are the minority!”
Hearing his story and then talking with several other veterans at the games, we heard how much Gillums has helped them. He is truly paying it forward.
He is appreciative of all of the support from Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) and everyone who donates and supports through their partner program.
Last year Penske Automotive Group dealerships raised $913,000 in support of Paralyzed Veterans, and we are hoping to exceed that total this year! In support of the campaign throughout 2016, Penske Automotive Group is matching each donation – up to $500,000. As of July 2016, with the Penske Automotive Group match, $668,000 has been raised toward the campaign! Thank you to everyone that has donated!