Be a trailblazer

A trailblazer is a pioneer, an innovator, or a person who makes a new track through uncharted territory. There's a trailblazer inside each of us. Maybe you're already charting your own path, or maybe you need a little help getting started. Meet a few trailblazers whose determination, spirit, and sense of adventure show that grit comes in all shapes and sizes.  


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Nerissa Cannon

Cedar City, Utah

Favorite adventures: wheelchair hiking through the Colorado mountains

Adaptive equipment: GRIT Freedom Chair, SideStix forearm crutches, manual wheelchair, FreeWheel.

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 and joined the GRIT team in 2017.

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Jenny Schmitz

Seattle, Washington

Favorite adventures: tandem hiking with her husband, wheelchair camping

Adaptive equipment: manual wheelchair, power wheelchair, GRIT Freedom Chair

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.

Jeremy Kerr

Seneca, South Carolina

Favorite adventures: fishing on the beach with his family

Adaptive equipment: manual wheelchair, handcycle, GRIT Freedom Chair

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.

Nerissa Cannon

Cedar City, Utah

"Life’s twists and turns have taken me to incredibly horrible and incredibly beautiful places. And to be honest, I am grateful to be where I am in spite of what I’ve had to go through and the daily struggles I still face. I think my life’s path might take me to places I can’t even fathom right now, and I can’t wait to experience those adventures beyond the horizon!"

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. She joined the GRIT team in 2017 and relocated to Boston.

Adaptive equipment: SideStix forearm crutches, manual wheelchair, FreeWheel, GRIT Freedom Chair

Jenny Schmitz

Seattle, Washington

Adaptive equipment: manual wheelchair, power wheelchair, GRIT Freedom Chair

"I set about the long process of recreating a life and an identity for my new reality.  I figured out what many people with wheelchairs already know: you can do many of the things you once did as an able-bodied person -- just differently."

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.

Read more about Jeremy

Jeremy Kerr

Seneca, South Carolina

Adaptive equipment: manual wheelchair, handcycle, GRIT Freedom Chair

"I love being outdoors! Hunting, fishing and hiking, I do it all. However, the activities I love mostly involve going over terrain not suitable for my everyday wheelchair. I was limited to where I could go... With the right equipment, I have truly felt freedom I haven't felt in years." 

Jeremy is happiest when he's outside! He loves fishing on the beach with family and going down hiking trails to explore the beauty that God created. 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.  He continues to strive to move beyond the pavement and make the most out of life.