Another 26.2 miles are in the books for Team Hope For The Warriors Athlete Paul Kelly! On February 20, 2022, Paul completed the Fort Lauderdale A1A Marathon in the Sunshine State of Florida, bringing his total number of combined full and half marathons to 130. Since 2007, Paul has been competing as a hand cyclist in races all over the country, showing us all that with determination, resiliency and great fortitude, we can overcome any obstacle put in front of us.
After a neck injury sustained in a swimming pool accident shortly after college, Paul was left with his lower body completely paralyzed and his upper limbs extensively paralyzed. While this caused Paul to become dependent on caretakers for support in his daily life, he never lost motivation and used his drive to serve as an advocate for the disabled. Years later, as a spectator at the Marine Corps Marathon, Paul witnessed handcycle marathoners competing alongside runners and found his inspiration.
Through training, he became connected with HOPE because of his desire to bring awareness to the military community. Since joining our team, Paul and his wife Sally have raised over $110,000 in donations for our warrior community! They have both been recognized as Volunteer of the Month, and Paul is a recipient of our 2018 Vigiano HOPE and Courage Award. We are so honored they are part of the HOPE family as their efforts help make our mission possible every day!
While many of us would be thrilled crossing a marathon finish line just once, Paul takes it to the next level. Just three months into 2022, he has already competed in the Houston Marathon and the A1A! At the tail end of 2021, he competed in the Virtual Marine Corps Marathon, Boston Virtual Marathon, and the St. George Marathon. Needless to say, Paul has had a very active six months, and he’s not done yet!
On May 28, 2022, Paul will compete in HOPE’s annual Run For The Warriors 5k and 10k race held in Jacksonville, NC! This year’s theme is “Honor. Run. Remember” as we pay tribute to our nation’s heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Virtual options are available for those outside the area. If you are interested in participating alongside Paul and other Team HOPE athletes, click here for more information and registration.
The goal of Team Hope For The Warriors is to provide athletes of all abilities the opportunity to engage their competitive spirit at endurance events all over the country. HOPE works to provide athletes with the adaptative equipment necessary to achieve their goals and to support them along their journey, just as they support our military community.
It is because of the dedication and support of our partners, sponsors, and individuals like Paul and Sally that HOPE is able to serve the military community. We can’t thank you enough for all you do and are excited to cheer you on through all you accomplish in 2022!
To get connected with Team Hope For The Warriors, click here.