September 1, 2014


Written by derekherrera

It’s been a great (busy) month.

Maura and I filmed a television show that highlighted some of our personal story and our experience since I was injured two years ago.  The show was taped live and will be airing nationally and internationally soon.  We will make sure to spread the word once we can confirm the date the show will air.

Challenged Athletes Foundation Open Water Swim Para Triathlon @2xI was lucky enough to participate in the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) Para-Triathlon Camp.  There was an incredible coaching staff and legends from the community, including Carlos Moleda, a world-champion hand-cyclist and 4-time Ironman Kona Winner.  CAF is also an incredible organization that raises funds to support any disabled athletes in their pursuit of competitive sports.  They have supported me and countless other athletes in their pursuit of competitive sports.  One of my classmates from the Naval Academy, Eric McElvenny, raised awareness for CAF last year when he completed the Ironman Kona Triathlon after training with Hines Ward.  The camp was a great experience, where I was able to learn advanced techniques that will definitely allow me to improve in the sport.

RuckPack is continuing to grow.  We have been working hard this month to prepare for growth in the market and have incorporated as a Delaware C Corp, completed an audit, established a Board of Directors, and solidified our relationship with international distributors.  This month has been a lot of fun and I have come to understand and appreciate my role in the RuckPack machine.  I did an interview with the Beverage Daily about this subject recently, check it out if you would like to see more details.

I spent a week at UCLA completing another block of summer electives.  This session I learned about Private Equity and Technology Commercialization from some incredible professors.  It was also fun catching up with classmates and seeing all of the things they have been doing over the summer.

Team ReWalk Paralyzed Veterans of America Summit Las Vegas @2xLast week I attended the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) Annual Research Summit in Las Vegas.  This event hosted hundreds of doctors, nurses and other industry professionals.  I was lucky enough to meet many of the current leading doctors in the SCI community and hear about the different things they have seen regarding current research.  It was a great time and I also enjoyed meeting the PVA team.  I found out that the PVA does a lot of advocacy and lobbying on Capitol Hill to ensure that Veterans receive the care they deserve across the country.  I had no idea how involved the PVA was in this regard, but it was great to see that there are so many Veterans able to influence and advocate for maintaining the highest level of care for Paralyzed Veterans.  I recently became involved with the PVA and have accepted a seat on the board for their Research Foundation.

Our house is coming along well and should be done soon.  If I haven’t shared it yet, Paul Hoffecker, from Renovating Hope, has been truly incredible and has overseen all of the construction for the house.  He has organized an army of supporters including the MARSOC Foundation, Semper Fi Fund, Home Depot, and our Local Union of Elevator Constructors to facilitate the necessary modifications to our home.  Maura and I are truly grateful for all of the support provided by Paul and everyone involved in this team.