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PARALYZED VETERAN RICKY RALEY HANDCYCLES 1,500 MILES FROM NEW YORK CITY TO FLORIDA TO RAISE MONEY FOR TREATMENT OF INVISIBLE WOUNDS OF WAR

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New York City, Aug. 07, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Starting in New York City on Monday, August 13, paralyzed U.S. Army veteran Ricky Raley will ride his hand-crank cycle approximately 130 miles a day for two weeks to benefit Boot Campaign. The 1,500-mile handcycle journey seeks to raise funds to support those struggling with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), chronic pain, self-medication and insomnia.

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"I lost nine people from my unit to suicide since I've been home," explained Raley. "People are suffering alone, and they think there is no help. My buddy just took his life. He needed to know there is group putting their boots on for him."

The goal of "Raley Road Trip: Cycling It Forward to Benefit Boot Campaign" is to raise $150,000 for the national non-profit organization's health and wellness program. 

"The trauma from being paralyzed was nowhere near the isolation I felt from the traumatic brain injury and the mental cognition issues I was having," said Raley. "I'm doing this for all the veterans out there who need a program like Boot Campaign."

The mission of Boot Campaign's Health and Wellness pipeline is to provide access to the most individualized, comprehensive and holistic providers treating PTSD, TBI, chronic pain, self-medication and insomnia.

"No single organization has the ability to solve the diverse and complex challenges that face our military community," said Boot Campaign CEO Shelly Kirkland. "Boot Campaign joins forces with like-minded entities across the country to steward veterans and their families through a life-changing experience to reclaim health and wellness, restore families, restart careers, reduce suicide and reinforce communities."

Raley joined the Indiana Army National Guard in 2004 and his unit, known as the Avengers, conducted more than 200 combat missions and covered more than 250,000 miles in convoy escorts in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. On one mission, the truck carrying Raley and his teammates tripped an IED (improvised explosive device). Raley, along with two others in the truck at the time of the explosion sustained mild traumatic brain injuries and were awarded Purple Hearts. In 2009, six months and 17 days after returning from Iraq, Ricky was involved in a near fatal truck accident leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.

Raley's handcycle, known as the Rubber Ducky II was created by Top End® Wheelchair (a division of Invacare® Corp) and is specially designed to suit Raley's needs. 

"Top End is proud to support Ricky and Boot Campaign in their mission," added Jon Miller, Senior Director of Top End Wheelchairs. "Veterans need the kind of support the Boot Campaign dedicates itself towards, and we're excited to help Ricky in his drive to help others like him."

"All of us at Boot Campaign have been inspired by Ricky and his dedication to continuing to serve his brothers and sisters within the military community through this physical feat of handcycling down the East Coast," said Kirkland. "The complex health and wellness needs of the military community are expensive to treat and by raising funds through the ‘Raley Road Trip,' Boot Campaign will be able to fund additional veterans across the U.S. needing the best care in the country." 

By texting BOOTSON to 27722, patriots can give $5 in support of Boot Campaign. To learn more, donate and volunteer to be part of Ricky Raley's Road Trip, visit RaleyRoadTrip.com. Follow along on social media using #RaleyRoadTrip.

About the Boot Campaign

Established in 2011, Boot Campaign is a national non-profit organization dedicated to igniting the inner patriot in all Americans and providing life-improving programs to veterans and active duty military families. Retail sales of combat boots, apparel and mission-focused merchandise, donations and corporate sponsorships fund our efforts to support thousands of military personnel from every generation who have endured significant physical, emotional and circumstantial hardships resulting from their service and sacrifice. Accredited by the Better Business Bureau and a GuideStar Exchange Gold Member, more than 80% of funds raised by Boot Campaign go directly to our mission-minded programs. To learn more, visit www.bootcampaign.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the handle @bootcampaign. Media kit for Raley Road Trip, including photos, can be downloaded here.

 

About Invacare Corporation
A global leader in manufacturing home medical devices, Invacare is dedicated to putting the patient at the center of everything we do. We are passionate about providing clinical solutions for post-acute care, rehab, homecare, and respiratory markets to promote our Corporate Vision—Making Life's Experiences Possible™.


Emily Bywaters
Boot Campaign
972.955.2845
emily@bootcampaign.org

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