Verna says, “Keep going”
Verna, is a quad amputee and one of our inspirational ICE trike riders from Calgary, Canada. She rides 20" Adventure with a Shimano Steps e-assist motor because it was the most comfortable and it needed the least modifications to fit her needs.
“This trike is a game changer, I feel alive again, it’s just pure joy!”
This is Vernas story.
Five years ago I was completing feats many only dream about. Traveling all over the world, joining humanitarian works, leading small groups in my church, running to raise money for charities, enjoying extreme adventures like bungee jumping, cage diving with great white sharks, hiking and sky diving.
However, my world changed in March of 2017 when I got an infection that lead to septic shock. I recovered after 263 days in the hospital but it left me as a quad amputee. Because of this I suffered significant loss. I lost the ability to do the things that make me feel alive. I lost my home. I lost my relationships. I lost my job. What was left was (and is) my faith and hope.
I aimed to walk without assistance before my first amputation anniversary, and I did it! After a month, I joined and won the "Dance For Ellen" contest when Ellen DeGeneres came to Calgary. The following month, I registered for a 5km race. I may be the last to arrive at the finish line, but I’m a finisher. I continued to push barriers showing and encouraging people that there is hope for those who embrace challenge and never give up. I was named as an "Inspiring Albertan”.
In March 2020 I faced another challenge, a global pandemic. I couldn't go to the gym anymore. No more gatherings. It was boring. I felt isolated. My friends were having fun riding their bikes and I wasn't. So I started to ask my Occupational Therapist if it was possible to put something like a training wheels on my bike to make it adaptive. She lead me to the Tetra Society to see if they could adapt my bike. They suggested that a recumbent trike would be best for me. I checked immediately what it would look like, how much it would cost and where to buy it. The next thing I knew I was test driving trikes. The ICE Adventure was the most comfortable. It had the least modification needed to be done to fit my needs. I said to the dealer “I’ll come back. I just have to raise the money." After two months, I had my trike!
This trike is a game changer. I can explore the outdoors again. I feel included again. I love my cardio exercise. I love the wind in my face. Ahhh... I feel alive again… it’s just pure joy!
Time to give back to the community. This August, I’ll be riding to end childhood cancer and save little lives. The goal is to help fund life-saving research to develop safer and more effective treatments, and find cures for all childhood cancers.
Good luck with your trike riding from all at ICE. Please donate if you can to Vernas ‘Great Cycling Challenge’ in aid of children’s cancer.
Donate if you can: https://greatcyclechallenge.ca/Riders/VernaMarzo
More about Verna: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDqGkibl5wo