Teenage Brothers Bicycling Across USA Complete Mission for US Paralympic Judo Team Awareness and the Work of the Blind Judo Foundation

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Two teenage brothers bicycled 4,000 miles across 14 states to raise awareness of the US Paralympic Judo Team, empowering blind and visually impaired individuals through the sport of Judo.

Media Coverage as Peter and Janos cross the Golden Gate Bridge

You make a living with what you get; You make a life with what you give - Winston Churchill

Peter and Janos Kabai from an early age learned life values from practicing and incorporating the sport of Judo into their lives. They started their Judo exposure along with the whole Kabai family of six at Cahill’s Judo Academy in San Bruno, CA. It didn’t take them or the family long to realize fundamental values of Judo that are positively affecting their lives outside of the Judo gym (Dojo).

They subsequently became aware of a nonprofit organization called the Blind Judo Foundation that actually imparts those lessons and skills the Kabai Family was learning, to blind and visually impaired children, young adults and our military men and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan that have become blind or visually impaired. Some might refer to those “lessons” or “skills” what Ron Peck, CFO & Co-Founder of the Blind Judo Foundation calls the tenets of Judo: Confidence building; Character development; how to make and follow through on Commitments; learning Humility; Respect and Responsibility.

Judo for the blind and visually impaired is one sport that empowers individuals to become all that they can become while enhances their independence. Where can one go to learn these basic life skills we all want to incorporate in our lives?

Peter (19) and Janos (16) set out as part of their heritage of service to others implementing a plan to spend the summer making a difference in the lives of others in particular, blind and visually impaired children and young adults. They also wanted to highlight and bring awareness to the 2012 Paralympics Games (not to be confused with Special Olympics) and in particular the blind and visually impaired athletes on the 2012 US Paralympic Judo Team who will be representing the USA on the world stage in London.

The Paralympics is the second largest sporting event in the world. Yet many Americans are unaware of the Paralympics which opens two weeks after the close of the Olympics. Athletes occupy the same Olympic Village, have to meet the same requirements of Olympians and compete with other like athletes from around the world.

This year there will be only six elite athletes on the 2012 US Paralympic Judo Team representing America on the world stage. They are all visually impaired or blind. Imagine reaching the elite level of athleticism in the sport of Judo and not being able to see? Peter and Janos are bringing awareness to this select group of athletes and informing other blind individuals to become all that they can become using Judo as the tool for success.

So how did the Kabais’ accomplish their goal? Well, on June 1, 2012 Peter and Janos shipped all their camping gear, bicycles, spare parts, and other material, and flew to NYC. On June 3, 2012 they kicked-off their trip near the Statue of Liberty to bike across America. Try to imagine riding a bicycle through deserts, mountains, east coast 100 degree heat, sleeping in tents, camping out, cooking most of their own meals and blogging their whole trip on a website as they made their way across America. An awesome task for these two brave brothers!

There were times they wanted to “throw in the towel.” However, working together they reached down within themselves and realized the difference they were going to make in the lives of others, in particular blind and visually impaired individuals and the work of the Blind Judo Foundation which was their motivation to stick to their goals.

The goal of their vision and hard work was not going to be arbitrarily halted because things were becoming difficult along the way. It would have been easy to just stop and fly back to CA and the comfort of their family and home. This was not to be. They set a goal and they were going to accomplish what they set out to do. Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco was technically the end point. The mission was accomplished on August 18, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. Based upon their SPOT GPS system, they could actually predict their arrival day and time. This just goes to show how organized and detailed the Kabai brothers were in planning and implementing their plan.

While they were bicycling across American, their other brother Andras (18) was volunteering at a hospital in Hungary for the summer. Andras wants to become a Medical Doctor and consequently volunteered at a lung hospital in Hungary. The whole Kabai Family is amazing and are always challenging themselves to become all that they can become in service to others.

Peter and Janos’ trip was not only to bring awareness to the blind and visually impaired but also to highlight the tenets of Judo and the work of the Blind Judo Foundation. They spoke to many individuals and groups as they transversed across this huge country handing out cards for those who felt moved to make a donation to the Foundation. Their journey might be completed but their mission continues in bringing awareness and donations to help the blind and visually impaired on their journey through live with introductions to the sport of Judo.

The Blind Judo Foundation can also be found on Facebook and donations can be made at http://www.blindjudofoundation.org/support.php

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Ron C. Peck
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