Find your inner hero challenge

Posted by Reeve Staff in Daily Dose on December 03, 2019 # Fundraising, Team Reeve

When it comes to life-changing injuries, Eric Chaffin has seen more than most. As a founder and the managing partner of Chaffin Luhana LLP, he and his team represent survivors in complex cases ranging from defective products and medical devises to catastrophic personal injuries.

“I have represented many people over the years who are living with paralysis caused by bad products and tragic accidents,” said Chaffin. “My team and I carry these people with us, and we feel passionately about doing what we can to help in the courtroom and out.”

Shortly after Chaffin Luhana opened a decade ago, Chaffin and his law partner Roopal Luhana established the Chaffin Luhana Foundation (CLF) to carry out the law firm’s guiding principle of Doing Good by Doing RightTM.

“The CLF looks to get involved with people and organizations that are passionate about a community in need because that passion often translates into incredible outcomes,” said Chaffin. “We recognized those, who like Christopher and Dana Reeve, exhibit the strength to endure and persevere despite overwhelming obstacles, or exhibit values in their daily life such as love and kindness toward others, courage, perseverance and hope.”

Earlier this fall, the CLF partnered with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation to launch the #CLFInnerReeveChallenge on social media. The challenge encouraged people to donate to Team Reeve in support of Chaffin’s participation in 2019 TCS New York City Marathon. As part of the challenge, individuals posted a photo or video on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn, recognizing one of their everyday heroes, while tagging three friends to do the same. The effort inspired almost 100 posts and raised more than $25,000.

“I wanted to run for those with paralysis who as of now cannot. I say now because I believe one day there will be a cure,” said Chaffin. “The challenge was meant to honor Christopher Reeve’s legacy and share who we each hold dear as real-life heroes.”

With a donation of any size, challenge participants received a one-of-a-kind t-shirt with the slogan “Find Your Inner, Christopher Reeve.” They were also entered into a drawing to win a Peloton Tread, a Garmin Fenix5x watch or a 12-month subscription to Peloton Digital. The three winners were announced live on social media after the marathon.

“One of the CLF’s goals is to inspire others to run marathon’s for charities, and the prizes we give away are meant to help support people in their journey,” said Chaffin. “The slogan is meant to highlight how Christopher Reeve signified what true heroes are all about. His story shows us that no human is immune from a spinal cord injury, and how resilient the human spirit is in the face of adversity.”

Chaffin first learned about Team Reeve from friends, Keri Greene-Maskell and Dana Hartman, who he met through a shared love of Peloton indoor cycling. Greene-Maskell’s step-father lives with a spinal cord injury.

“Running the marathon and starting the challenge to support Keri’s family and the Reeve Foundation was an easy decision. It is amazing to see the scientific developments and know that couldn’t have been possible without the relentless vision of Christopher Reeve,” said Chaffin. “We all have challenges we need to overcome and it’s how we respond with resiliency that’s important.”

For Chaffin, who overcame some big hurdles early in life, “it is our choice in life how we view what happens to us, and I am grateful to add to my own journey by running for those with paralysis, and encouraging others to get involved.”

Inspired by the challenges’ success, the Reeve Foundation will continue the #InnerReeveChallenge theme for Giving Tuesday on December 3. The funds raised through the CLF Challenge will be used to encourage donors to support a Giving Tuesday matching gift campaign.

“I hope the theme continues to inspire more people to channel Chris’ spirit and determination to find their inner good, their inner Reeve,” said Chaffin, who is already recruiting people to participate in next year’s New York City Marathon for Team Reeve. “The Reeve Foundation is an essential community, as well as a driving force for spinal cord injury research. It is an honor for CLF to partner with such an inspiring organization.”