DAY ON THE LAKE 2019: second year event continues its success making water activities accessible

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The Second Annual Day on the Lake came to another spectacular conclusion this past Saturday at the Vasona Park & Lake in Los Gatos as dozens of individuals with physical disabilities were able to enjoy kayak and outrigger canoe activities, often with friends and family members, none of which would have been possible without the incredible work of the dozens of volunteers who made sure every person going out on the lake was safe and secure before getting their boat launched.

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This year, even mother nature cooperated as the temperatures stayed in the mid 80s, allowing everyone to enjoy extended times out on the lake. In the meantime, the army of volunteers made sure everything went smoothly. The team of San Jose Firefighters kept the hot dogs flowing while the kids enjoyed the bounce house, face painting and other activities. Another popular activity was the hand and foot cycling thanks to the team from BORP which had cycling enthusiasts ride along the many trails at the park.

The team of volunteers and staff led by Santa Clara Valley Medical Center pulled through again by making everyone feel welcomed and it was especially nice to see some of the former patients come back to enjoy the festivities. On to Day on the Lake 2020.

Wellness research study seeks women with SCI

The Center for Research on Women with Disabilities is looking for women to participate in a 10-week study on wellness covering topics such as self-care, dealing with negative thoughts, building healthy relationships and sexuality. You must have had a spinal cord injury for at least a year and have access to a high-speed internet connection to participate.

The study will take place virtually via the Second Life online role-playing world. “Second Life gives a feeling of embodied interaction,” says lead researcher Margaret Nosek, Ph.D., a quad who uses a vent. Her research team has used this platform for years, since it allows people who can’t meet in person to create an avatar and meet virtually in a pleasing online setting. “It’s interesting to watch how they choose to create their avatars — if they use a wheelchair or how close it is to their real-life body. In most cases it’s very different. I know mine is.”

Enrollment takes place through August. You can learn more about this study HERE or for more info, email Zest@Memorialhermann.org or call (713) 797-7570. A small payment is offered for participation.

Celebration of Life of Stan Kosloski set for June 23 in Petaluma

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The Sonoma Marin Spinal Cord Injury Support Group will be hosting a Celebration of Life of its beloved long-time leader, Stan Kosloski, who passed away in late April, on Sun., June 23rd from 3-4 p.m. at the Petaluma Community Center. The event is public and everyone is invited to attend as we pay our final respects not only to an incredibly kind man but also a legend in the wheelchair basketball community.

You can learn more about Stan and his life HERE. The event’s location is located at 320 N. McDowell Blvd., Petaluma. For more information, please contact Anthony Tusler at ATusler@aboutdisability.com

Sonoma Marin SCI Support Group secures new meeting site for monthly meetings

While we continue to mourn the loss of Sonoma Marin Spinal Cord Injury Support Group’s coordinator, Stan Kosloski, we’re pleased to announce that the group has secured a new meeting space for their monthly meetings that used to be hosted at the apartment complex Stan lived at. The new site is at the Sequoia Senior Solutions, 1372 N. McDowell Blvd., Suite S, Petaluma with the next meeting taking place on Mon., June 17th from 4-5:30 p.m.

On the meeting agenda is a presentation from the Sonoma County Parks and further decisions about how to keep the group going with Stan’s passing. For more information, contact Anthony Tusler at ATusler@aboutdisability.com

No Limits Collaborative seeks relay team participants for Aug. 18 Oakland Triathlon

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For the past five years, No Limits Collaborative has brought together teams to compete in the relay portion of triathlons in the Bay Area by partnering with USAP Events. And with the Aug. 18th Oakland Triathlon coming up, they are once again seeking individuals with spinal cord injuries, neurological impairments, and those without injuries to participate in at least one of the legs of the triathlon (swim, cycle, run/push) on "mixed ability" teams which includes athletes with and without disabilities.  They will assist with logistics, rentals, transportation and have financial scholarships available for their teams as needed.

If you are interested in being a part of one of their triathlon relay teams for any or all of the legs of the triathlon, email Rachel at rachel@nolimitscollaborative.org. And you can learn more about the Oakland Triathlon Festival. 

BORP re-schedules its rained out SportsFest for July 21

Berkeley’s Bay Area Outreach & Recreation Program (BORP) has set a new date for its SportsFest which was cancelled due to the rainy weather in May, with the new date set for Sun., July 21st from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Until June 19th, BORP is asking all previous registered participants to re-confirm their attendance. Such individuals should have received an e-mail from BORP on June 5th to re-confirm their attendance. After June 19th, depending on the number of available slots, they will open them up to new registrants

If you had originally registered and did not receive the re-confirmation e-mail, please contact BORP at info@borp.org.

NorCal SCI awards six Road To Recovery grants for $12,000

We’re happy to announce the funding of six more individuals’ requests for a Road To Recovery grant totaling $12,000, pushing our year-to-date total to $20,000 with 10 more applicants going through the qualification process at present time. Road To Recovery represents NorCal SCI’s signature program seeking to empower individuals with spinal cord injuries by providing financial support for additional therapy, acquire durable medical equipment not covered by insurance, or make minor home modifications.

Our latest recipients are Manuel Borg, Redwood City; Joe Foot, Bodega Bay; Ralph Morales, Hayward; Rod Alavi, Alamo; Kelly Longo, Lincoln; and Char Vine, Sacramento. Each of these applicants developed their own path to what they considered to be recovery, not dictated by anyone else, and we’re proud of the work they have done and will continue to do thanks to the grants they’re receiving.

NorCal SCI has committed to award a minimum of $60,000 in Road To Recovery grants during 2019 and we invite you to learn more about the program and see if you would be a suitable candidate to apply. You can learn more about the program HERE.

Heart & Soul of BORP's cycling program retires to pursue bringing inclusive cycling to the world

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Say the name Greg Milano within the Bay Area disability community and you’ll get a “oh, the guy who’s always on those foot cycles?” comment. Yup, that’s Greg Milano who for 12 years, while overseeing the cycling program at BORP, has transformed this activity not only in the Bay Area but across the country, having established the most robust inclusive cycling program for the disability community you will find. And now comes word that he’ll be retiring from his position at the end of this month to pursue his goal of expanding inclusive cycling to the rest of the world.

An avid outdoorsman, Greg has traveled to many countries and has been passionate about creating opportunities for cycling for those with a disability in under-served regions of the world and that’s what he plans to do with the next chapter of his life. If you would like to learn more about Greg's next venture to bring adaptive cycling to the world, check out Inclusive Cycling International.

We will miss Greg’s passion, empathy and enthusiasm and wish him all the est moving forward.

2-part United Spinal podcasts address mental health & disability

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United Spinal Association has produced a series of 30-45 minute long podcasts as part of its United on Wheels Wheelchair Lifestyle Podcast series that seek to address many of the issues the spinal cord injury population tends to deal with. They’re now featuring a 2-part series on mental health and disability. 

Part I features Dr. Patty Schroeder and Jamie Duplechine who discuss mental health and how to live your best life, moderated by New Mobility magazine’s editor, Ian Ruder. 

Part II features Dr. Dan Gottlieb, a psychologist, author and radio talk show host who shares his mental health insights as a professional and someone living with a disability. Brook McCall is joined by Dr. Gottlieb who has lived as a quadriplegic for the last 40 years. If you’d like to learn more about Dr. Gottlieb, please check out his website HERE.

BORP to honor women with disabilities in sports & recreation at June 19 event

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Berkeley’s Bay Area Outreach & Recreation Program (BORP) is hosting its annual Hall of Fame and Awards celebration on Wed., June 19th which will honor the women of BORP. It’s no surprise, of course, that women athletes and leaders have made important contributions to BORP, but many people may not realize that BORP was started in 1976 by two young female CAL students, Susan Sygall and Diane Schechter.

Given that BORP started as a sports program at a time when there was little equity and visibility for women in sports, having women in these and many other leadership roles at BORP was remarkable. Today, women and girls continue to contribute immensely to BORP, making up the majority of staff, playing key volunteer roles, and participating as dedicated and outstanding athletes. 

And thus, it’s very fitting that this year, BORP will celebrate the achievements and contributions of the following women and girls:

Susie Grimes
Kristi Hruzewicz
Ella Rodriguez
The Women of Quadzilla (Bonnie Lewkowicz, Sun Chan, Val Brown, Susie Grimes, Megan Schirle, Ann Cupolo-Freeman & Lori McLeod)

Lindsay Gottlieb, Head Coach of the Women’s Basketball team at UC Berkeley will keynote the event. All proceeds from the event will benefit BORP. The event will be held from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Ed Roberts Campus. You can get your tickets HERE.