'Incredible' Journey: From Paralyzed to Helping Others Walk

Full of hope, Kouri wanted to return to California and continue locomotor training near his home, but it wasn't available.

"We brought this to my father and my family and my friends saying 'Hey, we need to do something about the situation. I can't find the type of treatment and rehab that I want in California," he said. "That means that nobody there can."

Between rounds of therapy, Kouri married Moffat and then, with the help of family, friends, Harkema and the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, they raised the funds to start Next Step Fitness, an affordable not-for-profit rehab center in Los Angeles where anyone in the community could get locomotor training at an affordable cost.

So far 65 people have been treated at Next Step Fitness, which is funded by donations and grants and is one of only 8 places in the U.S. where locomotor training is available.

"They took Janne's spinal cord injury which could have stopped both of them in their tracks completely and turned it around," Susan Howley of the Reeve Foundation said. "And they have done something so remarkably creative and gutsy, really, in a way."

Continuing Legacy of Chris and Dana Reeve

The only thing bigger than Kouri's drive, determination and stubbornness, friends say, is his heart.

In May, Kouri, now 34, took his first steps in three years with the assistance of a walker.

"The look of triumph on his face was so phenomenal because," Howley said. "This was a young man who a couple of years ago had been told unequivocally you'll never walk again."

But for Kouri, that's just the beginning.

"Eventually, you know, I'm getting rid of the walker and walking out of that gym," he said. "I'm confident that I'm going to do it, and I understand that it's not going to happen tomorrow, but it will happen one day.

"You hear it all the time, but if you put your mind to it, you can make it happen. But you know it's true that if you stay focused and work every single day, you really can do whatever you set your mind to," he added.

Moffat says the experience has made them stronger as a couple, and those who knew Christopher and Dana Reeve say Kouri and Moffat's commitment to helping others is a continuation of the Reeve's legacy.

"Chris [Reeve] would probably say, 'I knew he could do it,'" Howley said. "To the rest of us he would say, 'Now figure out how to get a 150 more Next Step Fitnesses all over the country.'"

"A lot about their spirit and dedication reminds me of Chris and Dana. It's people like these two that are going to move forward Chris and Dana's legacy," Harkema said. "The only sadness that I have about Janne's story is that Chris and Dana aren't here to see it, because they would have been thrilled."

Kouri's father, who was instrumental in opening Next Step Fitness, recently passed away, and Kouri hopes to continue the work that made his father so proud.

"My father's the closest person in the world to me; his passing has been harder than this injury," Kouri said. "But then again he taught me to be strong ... that's another thing that's extremely motivating is to show him that we could make this successful."

Kouri and Moffat also hope they will be able to track down the EMT who saved Kouri's life and thank him.

Click here for more information on Next Step Fitness and here for more information on the Reeve Foundation.

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