On a beautiful summer evening in 2004, Molly Raymond’s life changed FOREVER. Two cars drag racing at 95 MPH struck her car and caused a terrible crash. Ironically, Molly was rushed to the same hospital where she worked as a NICU-RN. In those few seconds, she said goodbye to the high achieving life she loved. She would now deal with the frustrations and challenges of being a traumatic brain injury survivor and endure a grueling, lifelong journey to recovery.
Molly immediately lost her independence, her job, and her ability to do outdoor activities such as skiing, biking and windsurfing. Molly had trouble speaking for 3 years, but fought with determination, hope, and her strong faith to find her voice again. Many professionals told her she would never do certain things again. This only fueled the fire within her not to let her TBI define her life.
Her strong will and determination led her to the National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD) in Winter Park, CO where she learned new adaptive skiing methods on the mountain. With her NSCD instructors’ dedication and encouragement, she heard the words “CAN” instead of “CAN’T”
In March 2013, while riding the chair lift, Molly dreamed of bringing combat wounded veterans to NSCD to benefit from the same life-changing experience she had found in their adaptive sports programs. Shortly thereafter her vision was born. With the financial support from a few caring Federal IT contractor companies who worked with her husband, Molly helped launched a program called “No Boundaries” – “Turning disabilities into abilities for our Heroes”.
No Boundaries promotes independence, self-esteem, pride, and a sense of accomplishment for all participating combat wounded veterans. With the help of Federal IT companies and individuals wanting to give back, her church, friends and family, funds are raised to sponsor one winter and summer program trip each year with all expenses paid to Utah or Colorado for 10/12 combat wounded veterans from across the country. The veterans experience adaptive snow sports in the winter and white water kayaking, rock climbing, and mountain biking in the summer. They benefit from the therapeutic value of living life with other wounded veterans facing similar life changes and challenges. “No Boundaries” strives to generate group socialization, camaraderie, and teamwork between the attendees. Every trip the staff and veterans are brought to tears as walls come down and struggles and stories are shared. At the end of each trip, tears are present again – tears of joy this time – as these veterans look back and see the physical and personal growth achievements they’ve accomplished together on the No Boundaries trips.
The experience with “No Boundaries” has propelled many of these service members to make significant and positive life changes after returning home. The programs’ staff and supporters have seen these veterans; get back into shape, seek new challenges to conquer, reunite with their families, get jobs, and develop a renewed passion for life in their new, post-injury situations upon returning home.
On that summer evening in 2004, one life event propelled Molly Raymond’s life in a direction that would fuel her lifelong passion for helping others. In doing so, she too now lives a life with “no boundaries”.
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