Palm Springs, CA (PRWEB) January 29, 2009
Overstock.com commercial spokesperson Briana Walker will be participating in the Tour de Palm Springs a charity bike race that raises money for about 120 non-profit organizations in Coachella Valley. The race consists of about 8,000 cyclists and will take place on February 14, 2009. The fact that Briana is confined to a wheelchair makes this ride especially noteworthy. She will be hand-cycling as part of the Rise Above Team in her custom built hand-cycle and also joined by other hand-cyclists that are part of the Rise Above Team.
Briana is participating in the Tour de Palm Springs not just for a charitable contribution but also in an effort to raise awareness about spinal cord injury, rehabilitation but more importantly to promote the power of possibilities.
In August 2002, Briana was on her way to church in Mission Viejo, California when she fainted while driving hitting a cement median at 75 miles per hour leaving her paralyzed from the waist down. Determined to remain independent and active, Walker has summoned the nerve and ability to overcome the new challenges she has faced.
Since the accident, Briana has done nothing but excel. Just one year after the accident, she became the first female ever to be featured on the cover of Mobility Management magazine. She also serves as a face for Colours in Motion, a wheelchair company that offers chairs for everyday use as well as innovative products designed for use in sporting events. In 2003, Walker joined forces with another Colours model and together they founded the first wheelchair Hip Hop dance troupe. The troupe's well-received tour included a performance with rapper Ludacris at the 1st Annual Vibe Music Awards.
It was at one of Briana's dance performances in 2007 that brought her to the attention of Utah-based Overstock.com's CEO and chairman Patrick Byrne. Interested in starting her own advocacy not-for-profit organization, Briana identified with Byrne's mission to give back to consumers through savings, communities, and cultures. As a result, she accepted the position as a commercial spokesperson for the company. Since then, Briana has been featured in Overstock's national television and print ad campaign. (You can view some of Briana's Overstock commercials by going to http://www.overstock.com/13978/static.html).
Briana serves as an ambassador for the Life Rolls On Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides advocacy and motivation for young people whose lives have been affected by spinal cord injury. Continuing as a role model, she also mentors recently injured people and helps them transition into their new lifestyles.
In 2006, she published the paperback, "Dance Anyway": an autobiographical account of her life beginning the day of the car accident. She is now working on a book of humorous wheelchair anecdotes titled, "Does this Wheelchair Make My Butt Look Big?"
In spite of the intense physical challenges, Briana continues to dance, surf, wakeboard, snow ski, and in addition now skydives, bungee jumps, and competes in triathlons.
"To me, the bike ride represents going that extra mile (pun intended) in what I can do as an example of taking on a challenge and creating my own personal victory," Briana said.