Last night I gave an online benefit concert to help Julia Beckley raise funds to replace the racing wheelchair that was stolen out of her garage this week. As of this writing, she is more than ⅓ of the way to her $7,500 fundraising goal. She can still use more support.
During the benefit show, we took a bit of time for Julia to appear onscreen and chat with me about her participation in accessible sport, some of the races she's been in and a race she dreams of taking part in.
Julia Beckley loves to race. She is an integral member of the running community online. For her, racing is done in a pushrim wheelchair, as she has a bone disorder that causes high risk of stress fractures.
If you've ever seen Julia's social media posts, she exhibits this sense of euphoria after every race, after every workout, every day she's not in the hospital and can do her favorite thing. Even in those harder times, she's grateful and hopeful.
So, when I saw a post yesterday morning that her pushrim wheelchair was stolen from her garage, I felt the weight of that injustice and the imperative to do something about it. I had already scheduled an online concert. But this news made me change it to a benefit concert so we could raise funds to replace this chair. For Julia, a pushrim wheelchair is more than a prized possession. It's the key to her way of life. Race season is just beginning and she'll now have to wait until the funds are raised and a specialty pushrim shop can customize a vessel for her.
Join us Saturday April 1 for an Online Benefit Concert for Julia
Julia contributed an incredible clip to my video “Run With My Troubles,” which features runners across the USA who realize the mental health benefits of their exercise efforts. Look for Julia training in her pushrim wheelchair at the 1:44 mark.
The benefit concert's environment will contain a donate button for Julia's GoFundMe - but you can donate now and get updates about this effort at Julia's GoFundMe page, maintained by her friend PJ and PJ's mom Cindy.