Colorado pair make global impact with 24-hour spin on Wings for Life World Run

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We are so grateful for Quinn Brett and Joshua Stevens, who turned their 2020 Wings for Life World Run into a 24-hour event that raised more than $5,000 for Wings for Life!

Joshua and Quinn are friends from Estes Park, Colorado, high in the US Rockies. Each has experienced spinal cord injury firsthand. Joshua twice underwent surgery for cervical spine injuries he sustained in military service before becoming a trophy-winning ultrarunner. Quinn was paralyzed in a 2017 climbing fall and is an advocate and writer. Both are passionate about raising awareness – and funding – for spinal cord injury research.

How they engaged the world from a small mountain town

This dynamic duo wanted to create an impact that would extend far beyond the 6,300 residents of Estes Park. So they made the Wings for Life World Run the focal point of their 24-hour fundraiser. Joshua explains, “We engaged our grassroots community and connected to the World Run for global exposure.”

Starting on May 2, the pair began making loops around Lake Estes, with Quinn on her handcycle and Joshua on foot. The challenges of the location – about 7,500 ft/2,285 m above sea level – were intensified by freezing rain. Yet Quinn achieved 76 miles/122 km in all, while Joshua clinched 100 miles/160.934 km. On May 3, they united with the global Wings for Life World Run community via the App in the climax of their effort.

Joshua comments, “Unequivocally, the purpose of the run is what allowed me to push through some significant low spots. Being aware of how many folks were following and supporting us made me dig deeper.”  

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Why they won’t stop now

Already, the friends are looking forward to getting even more people involved for the next Wings for Life World Run on May 9, 2021. Quinn emphasizes the need to continue raising awareness. With issues ranging from bladder and bowel control to, for some, difficulty breathing, “The full effects of this kind of injury aren’t in your face unless you’re living with it.”

Joshua adds that he’s convinced research will one day find a cure. “The mission and purpose of Wings for Life and the Wings for Life World Run resonate deeply with me because of my own spinal injuries and those affecting my friends,” he says. “It's my hope to continue to serve the critical mission of funding and raising awareness for world-class spinal cord injury research through Wings for Life.” 

Everyone who joins the Wings for Life World Run makes a global impact, and you can, too. Why not pre-register to get an email as soon as registration is open?