I met Jim many years ago, and was amazed by him at that time. Here was someone who had his life as he knew it taken away from him, and his response was to become the best person he could be. I think of him as a role model that we could all strive to be like. To be forces for good in the universe. As a young man he was injured diving into a lake – injuries that left him paralyzed – a quadriplegic. I didn’t know him that well, but I never saw him feel sorry for himself – I saw him approach life with an adventurous spirit that wanted to make the world a better place. When he was given the opportunity to participate in research that could improve the lives of quadriplegics, he volunteered for front-line duty – willing to test devices before anyone else, willing to talk with others about his experiences and reassure them, willing to “boldly go where no man (had) gone before”.
I encourage you to google him – you can find old references to an episode of PBS Scientific American Frontiers with Alan Alda that featured Jim, and some interesting articles from the past (People magazine, etc). He was amazing, and I hope I can be half as positive, adventurous and world-changing.