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Greg Traynor Returns to the Outdoors After His Spinal Cord Injury

Greg Traynor loves the outdoors

Greg Traynor loves the outdoors

Editor’s Note: Greg Traynor received horrible news. He had broken his neck in a diving accident and was paralyzed from his chest-down. Instead of being concerned about the function he had lost, he asked his physical therapist, “What do I do now to get back as much function as I can? Where do I go from here?”Part 5 of a 5 part series.

Greg Traynor has three websites dedicated to helping disabled hunters, but the big question is: has he been able to get to the outdoors himself?

“I hunt in Pennsylvania, and I’m part of a deer management group in Peters Township, Penn., to help manage the deer population there. I also hunt with a group called Dreams Become Reality, a non-profit group that took me to Missouri last year to hunt, where I took a small 5-point buck. Previously I had some gun issues with my assistive equipment. I bought a new Remington .270 semi-automatic rifle and had a few problems with the gun misfiring when I shot at a couple of big bucks in Missouri. I wouldn’t have had that opportunity to hunt if it hadn’t been for Dreams Become Reality, which takes veterans and people with disabilities hunting, and they cover all expenses. I also go turkey hunting with my bow and a shotgun and do a lot of hunting with our local Wounded Warrior group.

Greg uses his website to help disabled hunters all over the world!

Greg uses his website to help disabled hunters all over the world!

“The future for me is really bright. I want to continue to work with people who have disabilities in my part-time position at Pitt Rehab, LLC, and I also enjoy working with my local Wounded Warrior group. I’ve started an online store through my Accessible Hunter blog (http://accessiblehunter.blogspot.com/) where sportsmen can buy shirts and hats with my Accessible Hunter logo. I especially enjoy educating newly-injured people about all the information available for them to do whatever they want to do. There are many types of assistive devices that will help you do and become whatever you want. I’ve learned that as someone with a spinal cord injury, I can do almost anything anyone else can do, I just have to do it in a different way. I’d really like to be an educator for people with disabilities to help them fulfill their dreams, whatever those dreams are, especially getting back to hunting, fishing and being a part of the outdoor community. For many people, getting into the outdoors by themselves is hard, if they have a spinal-cord injury. However, you can find resources and people to help you in your local community by affiliating with a Wounded Warrior group in your area and by learning more about the organization Dreams Become Reality at http://www.dbrinc.net/.

“There are also so many new innovations being made in wheelchairs today that you can go just about anywhere you want to go. I just bought a new wheelchair last year called an Action Trackchair which has tank-like treads on the side. The treads are more like snowmobile treads, but I like to call it a tank chair. I’ve found with this wheelchair that I can go anywhere – through snow, through mud and over logs, and I don’t get stuck like I did in a normal wheelchair. The new chair has made a dramatic difference in where I can go and how far I can go in the outdoors. In my normal power chair, I couldn’t cross a wet field, slick grass or gravel and rocks, but with that Action Trackchair I can go anywhere. I’ve found there are no barriers that prevent me from enjoying the outdoors. More and more technology is being developed for wheelchairs to increase accessibility to the outdoors. One of the main issues right now preventing more people from getting these new high-tech wheelchairs is the cost. For instance, the wheelchair I have cost $9,500, and I had to save up for several years to buy it. But today there are a couple websites trying to develop scholarship programs to get more of these chairs to the people who need them and can’t afford them.

Greg's chair lets him go anywhere!

Greg’s chair lets him go anywhere!

“As more and more people with disabilities come back from Iraq and Afghanistan, people are becoming more aware of assistive technology and looking for more information on technology to help them get back into the outdoors. They want to hunt, fish and camp just like they did before they were injured. There’s been a big push to develop more devices to enable us all to do that. I’ve seen the available resources double and triple in the last few years. More and more people are seeing other disabled people who are able to use technology to get back to the woods and waters, and this knowledge is driving technology and hopefully will help bring-down prices for all these new devices that we now can use. My goal in life is to be a resource for individuals with disabilities who want to get back into the outdoors and be involved in the activities they love. You can send me an e-mail at traynorgreg@gmail.com or accessiblehunter@gmail.com, or visit http://accessiblehunter.blogspot.com/ to get in touch with me. I should be able to help you find people and resources, regardless of where you live in the United States.”

To read more amazing stories, you can go to Amazon.com and download “Courage: The Stories of Hometown Heroes” and “Moving Forward: The Stories of Hometown Heroes”. 

 

About the Author: For the last 12 years, John E. Phillips of Vestavia, Alabama, has been a professional blogger for major companies, corporations and tourism associations throughout the nation. During his 24 years as Outdoor Editor for “The Birmingham Post-Herald” newspaper, he published more than 7,000 newspaper columns and sold more than 100,000 of his photos to newspapers, magazines and internet sites. He also hosted a radio show that was syndicated at 27 radio stations; created, wrote and sold a syndicated newspaper column that ran in 38 newspapers for more than a decade; and wrote and sold more than 30 books. Learn more at http://www.nighthawkpublications.com