Tom Smith’s Reality Ride Challenge Raised $100,000 for the Research Programs at The Miami Project
May 2015 – Tom Smith, a twice paralyzed former hockey player from Swampscott, Massachusetts, arrived today at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis at the University of Miami Miller School as he concluded The Reality Ride Challenge, a 2100 mile ride from Boston to Miami, to raise funds and awareness for The Miami Project’s spinal cord injury research programs.
“What Tom, Teague and their team have been able to accomplish through the Reality Ride on behalf of The Miami Project is nothing short of remarkable. Their determination to make this a reality in order to help others devastated by paralysis is admirable and we are proud to call them our friends,” said Miami Project President Marc Buoniconti.
Smith is a former patient of University of Miami Neurosurgeon and Miami to Cure Paralysis Founder Dr. Barth Green. When he recovered from the second accident he decided he wanted to give back so he and his team rode under the name Reality Ride Challenge from Boston to Miami and raised $100,000 for The Miami Project’s paralysis research programs.
“The Reality Ride Challenge is a testament of what great doctors and therapists can do for someone with paralysis. My goal is to build this ride into a fundraising platform to help The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis expedite the process of finding a cure so that everyone in a wheelchair can have the same opportunity to recover as I did,” said event organizer Tom Smith.
The ride left from Boston on March 25th with each day of riding consisting of a 65 mile ride on a bicycle, 2 miles in a sitting wheelchair bike and one mile walking. The trek concluded at The Miami Project research facility in Miami with Miami Project President Marc Buoniconti and Dr. Barth Green, Founder of The Miami Project, leading the welcoming party of dozens of well-wishers, which included family, friends and researchers.
The Reality Ride Challenge is riding and walking for those who can’t. Thomas E. Smith and advisor Teague Egan completed the inaugural Reality Ride Challenge, a 2,100-mile, 38-day trek from Boston to Miami. The ride traced Smith’s path from his accident in Massachusetts to recovery at The University of Miami’s Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. The ride was a brutal test of physical endurance and mental fortitude. Smith and Egan performed the entire ride together, with others joining for segments along the way. Smith is a living, breathing, walking example of how the world-class doctors, scientists, physical therapists, and nurses at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis improve the daily lives of those living with paralysis.