40 athletes with various disabilities, including U.S. veterans, will compete in the 2013 ASICS LA Marathon as part of the Achilles team on March 17. A non-profit organization, Achilles International serves as a platform for athletes with disabilities to come together and participate in physical activities that may otherwise be inaccessible. Below are the profiles of three Achilles athletes with disabilities who are thrilled to take part in this year's LA Marathon.
Notable participants include U.S. war veteran Doc Daniel Jacobs, U.S. Navy veteran Ian Singleterry and Emily Davis.
- Doc Daniel Jacobs, 27, served as a US Navy Corpsman for 8 years and medically retired this past October. He served in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in Ramadi, Iraq between 2005 and 2006. It was while there that Doc was hit with an improvised explosive device and lost his left leg below the knee. He went through rehab and recovery at Balboa Naval Hospital for over two years and received the Purple Heart, Navy Achievement Medal with a "V" Valor, and a Combat Action Ribbon. Doc began his involvement with adaptive sports in 2007 when he joined the Achilles Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans, competing in over 13 marathons worldwide using a hand-cycle wheelchair. He will be hand-cycling with the Freedom Team in the LA Marathon on March 17th.
- Ian Singleterry, 42, is a single-leg amputee and US Navy veteran. On September 21, 2004, Singleterry's life changed forever when he lost control of a motorcycle he was driving and collided into a tree. His injuries were so severe that his entire right leg was amputated and his spleen removed; he was given a bleak 5 percent chance of survival. After months of rehabilitation, Ian was finally able to return to work. At the 2010 LA Marathon, Singleterry connected with Achilles International and has since then competed in 11 marathons with the organization. Singleterry will be using a hand-cycle wheelchair to compete as a hand-cycle guide for one of the younger Achilles athletes in this year's LA Marathon.
Erica Davis, 31, took her last unsupported steps on New Year's Eve in 2005 when a genetic anomaly stole her ability to walk; a ruptured vessel from a previously undiagnosed cavernous hemangioma near her spine paralyzed Davis from the navel down. The current 2012 Paratriathlon National Champion, Davis was introduced to Achilles International prior to the 2011 LA Marathon. The 2013 LA Marathon will be her fourth race with Achilles.
The LA Marathon is one of sixteen that Achilles participates in throughout the year. Achilles' involvement offers a chance for disabled athletes to improve their health and fitness, bond with peers facing similar challenges, and reconnect with their families.
About Achilles International: A non-profit organization, Achilles International was founded in 1983 and currently holds chapters and members in over 65 locations within the United States and abroad. Every day, in parks, gyms, and tracks all over the world, Achilles provides athletes with disabilities with a community of support. Over the years, Achilles has developed numerous specialized programs for children and war veterans. Achilles Kids provides training, racing opportunities, and an in-school program for children with disabilities, while its Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans program brings running programs and marathon opportunities to disabled veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. For more information, please visit: AchillesInternational.org.