Push Across America is an adventure and a journey. Ryan will push his racing chair from Los Angeles to New York City in the spring 2013. It's an adventure as it has never been done. It's a journey because it represents the commitment of a remarkable young man.
Ryan's motivation for Push Across America stems from his desire to encourage others to take on challenges and give back to individuals and organizations that have made a difference in their lives. That's why he's doing it. To touch people's lives and give back to an organization that has changed his life. Ryan's a great ambassador for persons of all ages as he's a young man who exemplifies the messages he so honestly delivers: "Never Give Up! Always Do Your Best! Make A Difference!"
Ryan was born with spina bifida, an incomplete closure of his spinal column, which means he does not have complete use of his legs. He started playing sports when he was eight, eventually focusing on basketball and track. In college, he decided to focus on track, and in 2012 he realized his dream of being a member of Team USA at the Paralympic Games in London.
Ryan's journey has not always gone smoothly. At the age of 13, he suffered a two-year setback from sports due to a pressure sore he developed following a surgery. Nonetheless, he reached deep inside himself and found the strength to push forward. He learned to SCUBA dive with Stay-Focused, a nonprofit organization that works with teens with physical disabilities. It changed his life. Ryan became the organization's first mentor in 2007. Stay-Focused mentors assist first-time divers in all aspects of Stay-Focused's programs, and represent the emerging leadership of the organization. In 2012, Ryan achieved yet another significant milestone in becoming a PADI-certified Divemaster, which represents the first level of professional certification.
Ryan will be pushing the equivalent of two to three marathons a day for 71 days.
He doesn't know how his body will react to this punishing schedule or how the terrain and weather conditions will conspire to challenge him. What he does know is he'll do it. He's passionate, determined, and focused.
Ryan will leave Los Angeles on April 6th, and arrive in New York City on June 15th. He'll be passing through 14 states and the District of Columbia. National and local media will be covering his journey and you will be able to follow his progress on this website, Facebook, and Twitter.