Injured Veterans To Conquer Alcatraz

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Cadira Heroes Take on the Escape From The Rock Duathlon

For us, this is truly a sink-or-swim moment. That water doesn’t care if you have two arms or one, or if you’re missing a leg or can’t see. It’ll get you just the same, so we have to be more prepared than anyone out there.

On Saturday, August 12, 2017, dozens of athletes will take part in the 37th annual Escape From The Rock Duathlon, swimming across San Francisco bay from the infamous prison to the mainland before running a 7-mile course along the shoreline. Among these elite competitors are three who show just how unconquerable the human spirit can be: Jonathan Lopez, Earl Granville and Matthew Bradford. They’re all traumatically injured veterans with amputations and other physical challenges who have made wellness and inspiration their life’s work.

They’re part of a group of athletes called Cadira Heroes, an organization founded by wellness solutions provider CadiraMD to demonstrate that even the greatest of limitations can be overcome and to motivate others to take active steps to promote their own wellness.

“For us, this is truly a sink-or-swim moment,” said Lopez. “That water doesn’t care if you have two arms or one, or if you’re missing a leg or can’t see. It’ll get you just the same, so we have to be more prepared than anyone out there.”

Lopez lost his arm in an automobile accident while stationed overseas in Germany. Granville lost his left leg to a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. And Bradford lost both his legs and his eyesight to a roadside bomb in Iraq.

None of these injuries have stopped these men form taking on great challenges in the past – all are well known in the veteran community for their competitive drive and indomitable character. Granville, in particular, has been very active in promoting physical and mental health issues among veterans, and Bradford became the first blind double-amputee to reenlist in the Marines, taking on a role in Camp Lejeune to help other wounded warriors address their own adjustment issues. They are also growing more highly recognized among the general population; just this past spring, Lopez participated NBC’s Spartan Race, and he has a number of other high-profile television appearances scheduled in the months ahead.

In their immediate future, though, they intend to use the Escape From The Rock Duathlon to prove that even the most daunting obstacles can be overcome. Bradford’s injuries are the most limiting, so rather than swim, he will kayak across the bay with the assistance of Beau Gertz, CadiraMD’s president and founder, before using his customized competition wheelchair to complete the surface portion of the course. Both Lopez and Granville intend to complete the race in the same manner as the fully-abled competitors: In the water and on the road.

Observers can watch the race along its route between Fort Point and Aquatic Park in San Francisco. The race begins at 8:00 a.m. More information is available online at More information about Cadira Hero and CadiraMD can be found at

About CadiraMD
CadiraMD is a leading provider of advanced wellness solutions, including blood testing, genetics testing, toxicology testing, telehealth consultations and nutraceuticals. The company is particularly focused on delivering programs that support traditionally underserved communities, including veterans, rural residents and those who have been socially or economically disadvantaged. Through its Cadira Hero program, CadiraMD seeks to highlight individuals who have overcome considerable challenges in their own lives, motivating others to take an active role in improving their wellness. More information is available online at

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Beau Gertz
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