My name is Ryan Brant and I am the Founder/CEO of Positive-Strides.org a 501 (c)(3) tax exempt public charity. I would like to take a few minutes of your time to share why Positive-Strides.org is so important, not only to me, but also to young athletes throughout the United States who have suffered unexpected, devastating and life-altering injuries that prevent them from continuing their ability to participate in athletics. Besides the obvious physical effects an injury can have on a budding athlete, injuries that prevent an athlete from participating in normal activities can also have an adverse effect psychologically as well. I know this first hand as I have, personally, had 4 knee surgeries and, most recently, back surgery; having started for a division one program and being cast aside while suffering from depression.
Growing up in a sports oriented family, I have always had a love of sports and enjoyed the thrill of playing. As a heavily recruited and nationally ranked lacrosse player in high school, I thought I had nothing but blue skies in front of me. Unfortunately, my injuries worked against my strong desire to play and contribute to my team after starting as a freshman and being forced to sit out as a sophomore in college. The injuries I sustained on my knee and back have altered my life in many ways. Like many athletes, I struggled through my injuries, did all the re-hab and whatever I was asked to do to get back on the playing field. Unfortunately, my injuries prevented me from living my dream, and the lack of support I received from the coaches and university staff was devastating.
As I suffered through the injuries and depression alone, I realized I was not alone. I realized that this was a bigger problem than just my personal experience, and that there were thousands of men and women athletes around the country suffering like me. The reason I started Positive-Strides.org was to turn this negative experience into a positive. After struggling through my injuries, I thought to myself that I do not want any other athlete who suffers a catastrophic and/or life changing injury like I did, to have to face the hardships that I did. Our mission statement at Positive-Strides is to provide guidance and financial assistance to athletes who have suffered catastrophic or life changing sports-related injuries. We strive to provide mental, physical and/or financial support to athletes who have suffered sports-related and career ending injuries. The goal is to provide a vast array of services that will help point injured athletes in the right direction and steer them to look at the positives in life before facing depression and addictions.
There are millions of athletes around the world that suffer catastrophic and/or career ending injuries that we do not hear about. Our mission is to find out about these athletes and help them strive for success; whether it is finding a way to get them back in athletics or showing them there is more to life than just sports. As an athlete myself, I struggled to understand that my athletic career would come to an end some day, and that I did not have any control over that. Many athletes who suffer a serious career threating or career ending injury tend to get lost because the lack of support from their coaches, respective schools and/or athletic organizations. These athletes tend to fall into deep depression and begin getting into bad habits. Positive-Strides.org is an organization created and managed by a team of former athletes, doctors and specialists from different sports backgrounds, who understand how tough it is to deal with life altering events.
Therefore, I am asking for your support of my foundation, Positive-Strides.org and to help the future of athletes around the United States and hopefully, the world. I would like to set up a meeting and/or conference call with you over the next few weeks to discuss further how you can help us make a difference in the lives of athletes who have hit unexpected obstacles. It is not for me, it is for the future of our athletes… of all ages.
Ryan J. Brant
Founder, Positive Strides