We build tomorrow today.
If today we enjoy such a high quality of life, it is because men and women who preceded us faced catastrophes and tragedies and decided to act for the betterment of humanity.
Science and technology have improved the lives of many who, due to wars, diseases, natural disasters or accidents, might otherwise have died.
After 30 years of living with an accidentally severed spinal cord, I had the idea to share my personal convictions with the world by doing something completely insane: deprived of all use and sensation of half of my body, I decided to stand up and walk across France, from the English Channel to the Mediterranean Sea, a distance of more than 1300 kilometers or 808 miles!
The physical exploit was not what was most important to me; my principal objective was to inspire a collective consciousness and to make the public realize the urgency of acting now on behalf of future generations.
I hope that the telling of my personal story in my book “Midnight Sun” will help give meaning to your lives and enable us all to find the path to serenity, and to growth.
In 1982, the year of my motorcycle accident, science was progressing so quickly that mice and rats, after having their spinal cords severed in the laboratory, were able to walk again.
As of my 21st year, I had to relearn how to live. Curious and hungry for life, I tried to ignore my paraplegia. I rebuilt myself through experiences that I thought would be necessary for the culmination of my being…to find the “true meaning” of all this.
It took me nearly 30 years of paraplegia to arrive at the conclusion that the only valid reason for me to exist under these conditions was to fight so that those who followed me would not have to suffer the same pathology and its consequences every second of their lives.
A paraplegic who stands, without the sensation or use of his lower limbs! The strength and unnatural aspect of this feat were what I thought would shed a light on the obscure side of this invisible and unknown reality, and create the urgency to bring about change.
Members of the world of para/tetraplegia, and of research, politics and society, these are the persons who have the power to shape the direction in this precise field.
This activity, started more than ten years ago, has become the reason for my daily life. Only a shared awareness has the power to bring change.
Beyond putting in place some communication still necessary for the Joe Kals Association, I would like to progress to a higher dimension by financing some ongoing clinical trials…to act concretely toward a solution.
My dearest wish today, before closing my eyes for eternity, would be to know that, in the future, the severing of a spinal cord will no longer have lasting consequences.
THE MEANING OF OUR LIVES, OF ONE LIFE
810 miles from Le Havre to Menton
The 1000m Herculis race in Monaco
The race up the Riviera Staircase
Project of sensitizing adults through the children
46 miles in Corsica
Preparation for the climb up the Eiffel Tower
Climbing the Eiffel Tower
3355 miles from New York to Los Angeles