HONOLULU, July 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — A woman who was born without a left hand and therefore was denied enlistment in the military will pedal 12 times around Oahu alone in honor of 12 Marines who were killed in a January helicopter crash off Oahu’sNorth Shore.  Her mission is to raise $180,000 to sponsor 12 service canines for wounded warriors.

388169

Patricia Waiwood, a 27-year-old native of Cleveland, Ohio, was denied enlistment in the Marine Corps, and all other branches, because she was born with one hand.  Still resolved to make a commitment to the military, she carved out her own branch of service.  Every year since 2014, she has taken cross-county cycling trips alone to raise support for organizations that aid wounded veterans.  The inaugural trip was from California to West Point, and the second was from the Ohio Statehouse to Eglin AFB in Florida.

This year, Patricia will pedal 12 times around Oahu in honor of 12 Marines from MCBH who were killed in a helicopter crash in January.  The Marines were from Texas, Pennsylvania, Missouri,Alabama, Minnesota, South Carolina, Florida, Massachusetts, and Oregon.  Patricia’s goal is to raise $180,000 to sponsor 12 service canines for veterans with PTSD and/or Traumatic Brain Injury.  The organization that does this work is K9s For Warriors.

388170

“The unfortunate, staggering fact is, everyday 22 veterans returning from combat take their own lives,” said Rory Diamond, Executive Director, at K9s For Warriors. “The K9s for Warriors training program not only provides our soldiers with a live-saving gift, but it’s also an opportunity for peer to peer support with other servicemen and women who suffer from similar issues.”

Patricia realizes that this campaign is a huge undertaking, but, as she puts it, “I’ll do whatever success in this campaign requires, and I’ll do it with a ‘happy heart and strong spirit’, to quote USMC General Mattis.

Patricia is a quantitative risk analyst at First Hawaiian Bank.

If you would like more information or to schedule an interview, contact Patricia Waiwood: (216) 785-6700 or paw26@case.edu.

About K9s for Warriors: Founded in 2011, K9s For Warriors is dedicated to providing service canines to warriors suffering from post-traumatic stress and/or traumatic brain injury as a result of military service post 9/11. Our goal is to give a new leash on life to rescue dogs and military heroes, empowering warriors to return to civilian life with dignity and independence.  For more information, visit http://www.k9sforwarriors.org..