Many of you here at Vo2 may already know Navin and his incredible story of courage, determination and his bid for a Kona Inspired slot this year, but for those of you who don’t, here it is in his own words.
When I was 18 years old I contracted Guillain Barre Syndrome and my life changed forever. I was a very healthy, athletic person and in a matter of days I was paralyzed from the neck down and totally dependent on others to live. Guillain Barre Syndrome is a rare autoimmune disorder that affects the peripheral nervous system. What happens is the person’s immune system malfunctions and attacks the healthy nerve cells which enable the communication between their brain and muscles. This destruction caused by the attack results in paralysis.
Faced with an uncertain future, I decided to fight to turn things around rather than wallowing in my misery and asking, “Why me?”
I turned to an athletic mindset that was ingrained in me from martial arts and playing competitive sports from a young age. I worked hard training as I had done in sports to overcome these new obstacles. I did not listen to estimates of how long it would take to recover nor the negative thoughts from some that I would not have much improvement at all.
I was inspired by people who used their mental strength to overcome physical hurdles. After two years of extensive physical therapy I slowly regained most of my mobility, although I have remaining paralysis in both legs below my knees that require me to wear leg braces to walk.
Today I am 47 years old and I am a husband and the father of two wonderful girls. I have learned many lessons on my journey after surviving Guillain Barre Syndrome. The one that stands out is that we have a choice and most of all; anything is possible if we choose to strive for it.
While I was going through physical rehabilitation, I felt a connection with Ironman athletes. I watched the Ironman World Championship events and saw human determination and will at work that defied conventional thinking of what was possible.
Kona Inspired is an amazing opportunity to accomplish to goals and fulfill two dreams one the honor of becoming an Ironman in Kona and two and more importantly to inspire others that Anything is Possible!
And please don’t forget to CLICK HERE to vote for Navin!