By COLlive reporter
Joe Volfman, 21-years-old, is a man of many interests; depending on the day, you can find him working out, spinning the records behind the DJ table, biking around town or campaigning for a local organization.
It might surprise you to hear that Joe also has Cerebral Palsy, which limits his mobility and keeps him confined to a wheelchair. That hasn’t stopped him from setting out to achieve his dreams, though.
A passionate adaptive biker, he’s currently training for the Paralympics and has completed full and half marathons with Team Friendship, which operates under the Friendship Circle International umbrella and organizes endurance sporting events to raise funds and awareness for the global organization.
Joe has good reason for his commitment to the Friendship Circle, which supports individuals with special needs; he received his first adaptive bike from Friendship Circle of New Jersey when he was 11 and hasn’t stopped biking since. It’s why he’s passionate about participating in as many Team Friendship events as he can–it’s his version of coming full circle.
“The Friendship Circle really showed me that I can do things like everything else, and that was the start of everything I’m doing now,” Joe explains. “At this point in my life, I feel like I can do anything I set my mind to.”
Now, Joe’s working on his latest project: a music set for Team Friendship’s bi-weekly Podcast series, which launched in August. The series features different stories like Joe’s in every episode and is available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
“These podcasts provide not only the physical motivation to keep on track with your training for the Team Friendship events, but they provide spiritual nourishment as well,” says Team Friendship’s director Mendel Groner. “This will really be a gamechanger for both runners as well as Friendship Circle families and supporters.”
As Joe Volfman prepares his set for the event in between Paralympic training sets, he takes a moment to reflect on the significance of it all.
“I have to keep going. I have to make sure that my message gets across so that other kids with special needs can have better lives and better experiences,” he explains. “They should know that there’s no such thing as a ‘disability.’”
Join the Run Across America by visiting TeamFriendship.org/
VIDEO: Joe Volfman speaks at Friendship Circle of New Jersey