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Latino State News

Chicago Organization’s Annual 5K Helps Handicapped Move Past Obstacles May 1st

Chicago Organization’s Annual 5K Helps Handicapped Move Past Obstacles May 1st

Photo: Backbones Members: Patricia, Reveca, Veronica and Annie

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Wheeling resident Reveca Torres damaged her spinal cord during a family trip to Mexico in 1994. “Becky,” as she’s called by family and friends, 13 years old at the time, was physically paralyzed and went to the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago to learn how to carry on with everyday life in a wheelchair.

Undaunted, Becky became the first person in a wheelchair to receive a fashion degree from Harper College in Palatine. She went on to study at the University of Arizona. At the U. of A., Becky developed a small clique of people thriving with spinal cord injuries. Here, she thought, were people like her who saw their physical limitations as obstacles to be overcome.

But after returning to the Chicago area and realizing the lack of opportunities for people living with disabilities to stay physically active and fit, Becky became heavily involved in organizations dedicated to adaptive sports and fitness.

Inspired by Becky story and fighting spirit, Becky’s sisters, Veronica and Annie, along with Veronica’s friend Patricia Mikicic, founded BACKBONES, a non-profit organization that describes itself as “a place to connect with others with the purpose of learning, teaching, and sharing.”

“We all wanted to find a way to help others with injuries get past the grieving period and realize how much is out there post-injury,” Annie told Examiner.com.

The group organizes several events every year. A wine tasting was held in February, and a few more events are already in the works: two group outings to Chicago Fire games in June and September, and the 3rd Annual BACKBONES 5K RUN, WALK ‘n’ ROLL this Sunday, May 1st.

The details of the upcoming event, according to BackbonesOnline.com, are as follows:


STUDENTS—$20 (with valid ID)

Children 12 and under accompanied by a parent may participate at no cost.

$35 on Race Day and during Packet Pick-Up.


7:00-8:00 a.m. – REGISTRATION

8:30 a.m. – START


Country Gardens Park

901 N. Schoenbeck Rd.

Prospect Heights, IL 60070

At 5 kilometers or 3.1 miles in length, the course begins on Schoenbeck Rd. at Stonegate Drive West next to Country Gardens park and travels north through a lovely and quiet residential neighborhood. Course marshals will be stationed at each corner.


Registration will be available at the Gary Morava Center during Packet Pick-Up on April 29 and 30.

Walk-in Registration fees are $35 per person. Only cash and checks will be accepted.


Parking will be available at the School District 23 lots located on the corner of Palatine Rd. and Schoenbeck Rd. There will be a cross guard to safely escort participants across Palatine Rd.

Handicapped parking is available at Country Gardens Park (901 N. Schoenbeck Rd.).


The course is completely paved as is the Country Garden’s park site. Wheelchair accessible portable toilets will be available. If you are a wheelchair user or have a visual impairment and would like to participate in the race, you may request a guide/pusher by calling 618-SCI-5484 or emailing info@backbonesonline.com.

Gear Check:

BACKBONES volunteers will be checking items you cannot carry with you throughout the course. Do not check purses, wallets, phones, or other valuable items. We are not responsible for lost or stolen items.


Water is provided at the main event site and midway on the course. Pre-event refreshments and music will be available beginning at 6:30a.m. Food will also be available as you finish your run.

First Aid:

There will be medical staff available at the main event site. Please be cautious and responsible.


This race is timed. Medals and prizes will be awarded to the top finishers in each age group at the post-race ceremony at Country Gardens Park.

2010 Male Racer: Scott Ebeling

2010 Female Racer: Rachel Simon

2010 Wheelchair Racer: Reva Moore

2010 Kiddo Racer: Pedro Landa

Packet Pick-Up:

Friday, April 29th, 12:00pm – 6:30 p.m. and

Saturday, April 30th, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Gary Morava Recreation Center, 110 West Camp McDonald Road, Prospect Heights, IL 60070


All pre-registered participants will receive an official 5K RUN, WALK n ROLL T-shirt.

Those who register on race day will receive T-shirts based on availability.