GRIT Trailblazers

We're proud to introduce these ten amazing riders. Handpicked for their determination, spirit, and sense of adventure, these individuals show that grit comes in all shapes and sizes. As GRIT Trailblazers, they will be sharing their perspectives on life with the GRIT Freedom Chair. 

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Nerissa Cannon

Palisade, Colorado

Nerissa has been active for as long as she can remember, but her diagnosis of Spinal Arthritis and Fibromyalgia forced her to be more creative in her outdoor activities. She started her own Etsy store and pet training and walking business in her rural area of Colorado.

Loren Cushing

Veneta, Oregon

Loren is a retired physical therapist, a life-long advocate for health and recreation, and a polio survivor. He loves sharing his experiences with others and created his popular YouTube channel to help share wheelchair tips and techniques.


Tricia Downing

Denver, Colorado

Tricia is a pioneer in women's wheelchair triathlon: she's the first female paraplegic to complete an Iron distance tri. Tricia is the founder and director of Camp Discovery, is a 2020 Paralympic hopeful in Olympic style shooting, and is co-hosting a new web series entitled She's Got Grit.

Wes Hamilton

Kansas City, Missouri

Wes takes to heart the mantra that life has no limits. He's a gym addict who enjoys the outdoors and spending time with his six year old daughter. Wes founded Disabled But Not Really, a nonprofit that helps people with SCI adjust, adapt, and thrive.

Lindsey Runkel

Westport, Connecticut

Lindsey is a spontaneous adventurer who loves the outdoors. She was injured in a downhill mountain bike accident, but doesn't let that stop her from adaptive mountain biking, skiing, and having a good time, no matter what. She's unapologetically herself and is excited to share her story.

Jeremy Newman

Santa Clarita, California

Jeremy has been a professional strength coach for over 30 years, an international speaker, a Team USA athlete, one of the founders of Team Beachbody, and ambassador of personal development and disability advocacy since his SCI in 1997.

Jeremy Kerr

Seneca, South Carolina

Jeremy is happiest when he's outside in the wild. He loves camping, kayaking on the lake, or pushing down wooded trails. After medically retiring from his position at the Oconee County Sheriffs office, he volunteers, using his personal experiences to help others deal with their recent spinal cord injuries.

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Jenny Schmitz

Seattle, Washington

Jenny lives in Seattle because of its unique offering of mountains, water, culture, and cool weather. She spends as much time as possible enjoying the outdoors. Her passion is travel, which has become a multi-adventure experience since her MS required a transition into a wheelchair.

Mariza Shaffa

North Las Vegas, Nevada

Mariza is a retired Army veteran and the single mother of a three year old son. She's a member of the Paralyzed Veterans of America and plays wheelchair basketball. Her family loves hiking and baseball, and she's looking forward to coaching her son.


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