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My Biggest Birthday Desire


You just clicked this open, didn’t you?
And when you are finished reading, you might get up, walk away from your desk and head to your next meeting, grab a cup of tea, or whatever.
About like that?
For most of us. Yes.
But for 6 million people in this country, it just ain’t so.
And it is on behalf of those people that I am writing to you.

About five years ago, my friend’s son, Janne Kouri, was injured in a diving accident.
Janne has been confined to a wheelchair since that time.  But he had an opportunity that most people who have similar injuries never get a chance to have.
He has had the ability to work out, daily, with a trained team on specially-designed equipment, which has led to incredible results.

Watch this video:  Janne Dances with His Wife for the First Time

And not only has he made so much progress himself, but he has dedicated himself to making sure everyone in a wheelchair has the same chance at rehab that he has.  He began a foundation called NextStep Fitness.  Janne believes that all persons living with paralysis and other physical disabilities deserve the hope and opportunity to live long and healthy lives. Yet today most of these individuals are deprived of the resources they desperately need for survival because there are no options available to them or they cannot afford them.  NextStep,, provides the opportunity for health and recovery through affordable and progressive community fitness, health, and wellness facilities.

Imagine if everyone who is currently in a wheelchair had access to the latest technology and the latest equipment and were able to work out and rehabilitate.
We could change the future for so many people who do not know that they even have a chance.
And this year, our New York fundraiser is taking place on June 7th, which is my birthday.
I would be so honored and grateful if you would consider attending this event and/or supporting this incredible foundation.

With so much love and pleasure,
Mama Gena

P.S. I spent a day in a wheelchair in support of NextStep’s Wheelchair for a Day Challenge. Watch the video below for a taste of my experience:

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33 Comments / Leave a Comment

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Kristina Sangvita December 2, 2013, 4:29 am

    Hi Mama Gena and readers.

    I saw the video and wrote a post 1, years ago. Lot has happened since then.

    I link to a photo, hope it´s ok. It´s me both in the chair and on the floor just a week ago.

    Feminine leadership and joy mindset absolutely do work for me <3 🙂

    For Joy, Love & Success

  • Sg Andrea May 27, 2012, 8:24 pm

    I have a lot of respect for what did you do. I believe that was a really challenge.

  • Kristiina Seia Sangvita May 26, 2012, 10:30 am

    Dear Regina.
    Thanks for doing and recording this experiment “A Day in a Wheelchair”.
    A answer to your question:
    I have had a lot of shame sitting there. Like everyone could see that I fucked up somewhere to be in that situation, that kind of energy and karma. I forgave myself. I forgive myself!
    I got sat looking at the video. You catch the feeling. The independence -will and struggle for ordinary things -participating and going around- aces to bathrooms – being seen as a wheelchair instead of being seen as You. … It´s easy to become feeling like a wicthem in a chair and with a disability. I refuse to do that anymore! I have choosen to take support from the experience of the chair and sitting. I believe EVERYTHING IS SUPPORT!
    I have gotten lot of support in other ways be sittting in a chair. I have chosen no matter if I sit or walk I am responsible for creating a fantastisk life. To feel GOOD, ENERGETIC and to connect to the source ect. So I do the best I can.
    It works. By choosing to be positive -mostly happy – energetic and feel good with chair or no chair I have begin to be able to move my feet again after being paralysed. It´s FANTASTIC & I <3 it. I HAVE TO BELIEVE I CAN CREATE MY WORLD.
    It can become a matter of choice to create a good and fantastic life chair or no chair. It´s easier to heal yourself being happy, energetc and feeling good. Doing what you want and handle yourself with love, love, love and more love.
    Of cource it would be easier to recover and participate in society if there were access. It´s wild to have societies that lives out so many people with disabilities In Denmark 10-15% of it´s population where access isn´t there physically. On the other hand. How and why did I create that situation for myself? How can I choose happiness no matter what and how can I create the best possible reality for myself with or without a chair. For me the way is staying positive, peel of other peoples sorrow on my behalf, Stay out of it. Choose doing all the joyful things. All that gives me endorphines, love and surplus. Also saying no to the rest. I still believe ALL IS SUPPORT – if I/you choose so.
    With lots of love Kristina Sangvita, All Is Support Consultancy (Denmark)

    • mama gena May 26, 2012, 11:32 am

      thank you for answering my question in such a potent way.
      you are very very very inspiring.
      and looking at how you created this experience for yourself is the most powerful thing any of us can do with our lives. i am so impressed with your courage. thank you for posting.

      • Kristiina Seia Sangvita June 5, 2012, 10:14 am

        Thank You Mama Gena.

        Believe we do the best we can and it´s so important to learn a lifegiving mindset filled with pleasure, love, joy, … lust and all the good stuff. I love beeing female and woman.
        Love your contribution to giving women the power of pleasure and joy by being female 🙂
        Woud love to meet and experience you live some day 🙂

        Thank You <3

  • Meg Coldwells May 25, 2012, 3:47 pm

    Truly amazing. I am passing this video on. I have a dear friend of my husband’s that had a terrible motorcycle accident (not at all his fault) and ended up in a wheelchair now for the rest of his life. His attitude is remarkable and positive and upbeat, but I watched him struggle with some of these things~ it broke my heart and made me grateful for my own health. Definitely puts things in perspective.

  • Luxurious Laurie May 25, 2012, 11:52 am

    I watched both the videos…of you, Regena, in the wheelchair…it really gave me pause…and the one of Janne dancing with his wife…and it brought me to tears…how could it not?? I only wish Pentti could be here, right by your side, Regena…to witness his son’s joyful, amazing accomplishment. So much love to you. xoxo

    • regena May 25, 2012, 12:17 pm

      thanks, laurie, i so appreciate you!

  • Lea May 25, 2012, 6:21 am

    So touching, really went under my skin. Thanks for being a sample, thanks for making this happen, really makes me think more and appreciate more and be in gratitude more

  • SG MathaDawn May 24, 2012, 5:39 pm

    Amazing day you had. I am grateful you found a cabbie that would stop and help. I teared up watching the amount of folks that did not know if they should ask if you needed help. I generally stop and ask as we have a few folks at my job who are in chairs. Thank you for opening our hearts and eyes.

  • Shaylin May 24, 2012, 5:36 pm

    I’m unable to attend but I 175% supportive of this cause. I’m a student Physical Therapist Assistant and have had the opportunity to work in clinicals with some amazing people with and without devices. I’m always so floored from astonishment with how valuable and high quality each individual that I have the pleasure to work with truly is.

    Thank you thank you thank you.

    • Shaylin May 24, 2012, 5:38 pm

      Oh goodness, the heat of today has dried up my grammar skills!

  • Mali May 24, 2012, 4:02 pm

    Regena its truly an honor to know you and to hear the many ways you put yourself out there for others. Yes I know its training for a great cause… Well, inspiring only comes close to saying the raft of emotions, concern and now a miniscule understanding for 6 million (!?) people across the US who meet these challenges daily. My step Dad a great hero of a man spent the last several years of his life in a wheelchair. I was always trying to cheer him up, have him deal with his anger. You’ve given me an powerful insight into what this man had to face and still be our hero, now this new dimension to that cheerful Dad he was! Thank you for this opportunity to forgive arrogance, to understand him and many others. I look forward to seeing you on your Birthday for this outstanding occasion you’ve created! I will never observe another person in a wheelchair in quite the same way. With big love and respect, SG Mali

    • regena May 25, 2012, 12:16 pm

      wonderful, mali! i look forward to seeing you at the benefit.

  • mila May 24, 2012, 12:16 pm

    That was inspirational. I can relate to this somewhat. Two months ago I fell and fractured a bone in my foot. I had a boot and a cane and I couldn’t walk. I live alone, Icouldn’t even go the supermarket two blocks away from my house. Simple task like taking a shower became impossible and taking a bath very long and painfull procedure. It does make you look at things differently. But I am lucky that I am recovering and will recover completely soon, hopefully, but people you are talking about, can’t look forward to recovery.I had tears in my eyes.

    SG Mila

    • regena May 25, 2012, 12:15 pm

      thank you for your understanding, mila. wishing you a speedy recovery.

  • SG Pu-rekini Alison May 24, 2012, 12:01 pm

    Regena, dear.
    Thank you. I have tears in my eyes that started near the beginning of your video. I have never seen you vulnerable before. That in itself touched deeply. You’re human? Who knew! You powerfully depicted the daily lives of our brothers and sisters in wheel chairs.
    I will be donating to Next Step TODAY.
    In Oneness and love.

    • regena May 25, 2012, 12:14 pm

      wow, thank you!

  • Wendy May 24, 2012, 11:21 am

    I admire you, galore. Thank you for what you’re doing to enliven all of our lives.
    With love and respect,

  • Laju May 24, 2012, 10:10 am

    UGH..this was a really painful and hard video to watch for me. Our Regena who is normally so agile and floats around like a BUTTERFLY looked so clumsy out in the world in the wheelchair. I know that as one gets accustomed to being in a wheelchair they pick up habits and get accustomed to moving around the world much more easily in the wheelchair. Of course, the point drives straight home that Regena was trying to make. If we lose our ability to walk the world becomes a much more difficult place to be and I am much more sensitive towards our sisters in wheelchairs now. BTW..SIDENOTE: I saw a billboard for a new cable show about “bad ass girls in wheelchairs” who live a rocking life even though the are confined to the chair. Wishing I could remember the name of the show..

  • Genevieve May 24, 2012, 9:50 am

    I am feeling gratitude for my legs, sadness for the lack of services and obstacles in simple tasks of everyday life that the disabled face and shock that it took so long for a taxi to stop.

    I hope the juice place and all other commerces get a ramp, everyone should try this out for a day or at least watch this video, compassion would be birthed and changes implemented for greater access and a simplified day.

    Thank you mama Gena for sharing your experience

    • regena May 25, 2012, 12:14 pm

      we are creating a wheelchair for a day campaign, if you would like to join!

  • ABISOLA May 24, 2012, 9:00 am

    WOW!!! What an educational, inspirational and wake-up call this was for me to watch your video. I got it and have made a decision on May 24th to make a donation to Next Step in honor of Supreme Queen Ayodele Moore’s birthday which is today!

    • regena May 25, 2012, 12:13 pm

      thank you so very very much!!
      queen ayo is quite worthy of celebration.

  • Michaela May 24, 2012, 8:10 am

    That was incredible! You walk the walk Mama Gena! So brave. Really moving.

    Thank you for opening my eyes up to a smidge of what those who are less mobile have to deal w/ – physically and emotionally. You are a strong woman, and I thank you for hanging tough and riding through that experience to help us get perspective on what a day for someone in a wheelchair might be like.

    You continue to motivate and inspire and push. You are a great example of life and living fully. Thank you.

  • julia May 24, 2012, 8:00 am

    it’s sad, but beautifull, touching, warm, fantastic. let’s give everyone on the wheelchair a big hope is still everything for them, normal, equally, thank you so much go for it enjoy your birthday not for you for all us in that New York fundraiser.
    god bless

  • SG Prada Madonna (Ellen S) May 24, 2012, 7:51 am

    Totally amazing Regena. Bravo!
    I did love how many New Yorkers were helpful to you and I so love Princess. She was with you every step of the way!
    We take our health and simple things like the ability to walk for granted.
    Thanks for the wake up call.
    Love, Prada

    • regena May 25, 2012, 12:11 pm

      princess is so fierce, huh?
      will you come to the benefit???

  • Detox Diva Donna May 24, 2012, 7:40 am

    You are so awesome! I am left in deep gratitude for my health. You live an extraordinary life. That you choose! Thank you for sharing your experience with us!

  • SG Anastasia May 24, 2012, 7:11 am

    Wow!! Janne Kouri’s story, as presented by you, is beautiful, warm, expanding, tear jerking, love rising tribute for this awesome and incredible foundation, giving hope and understanding; so very purrfect, Mama Gena! Thank you once again for creating and bringing awareness to the world with yet another avenue of pleasure! May your. June 7th, birthday desire of great attendance and generously abundant fundraising for this amazing and incredible, NextStep Fitness foundation and event, be yours and even better!! Kisses, to you, Mama Gena!!

    • regena May 25, 2012, 12:10 pm

      thank you so much!! i am deeply touched.