Friday, October 26, 2012

What's your next adventure?


That's what people ask me. Surfing, kayaking and skydiving have been my answers. If there's been an adaptive adventure sport I've probably done it and brought it in front of others to try. The Threus  Foundation has been my platform for driving over the edge. I celebrated 40th birthday last September and it’s time to refocus what I want to do with my life.

 I have plans to go back to college,  run a business and help others along the way. For those of you who know me, you know the ocean and water is very close to my heart. I found out about the Handicapped SCUBAAssociation and The Disabled Veterans Diving Project. I always thought that having a pneumothorax from my accident prevented me from diving.

I spoke with the doctor, and he said that I could dive since it wasn't a spontaneous type injury but a direct injury and I would reduce the risk of having an air embolism. I asked him to put it in writing and he said he needed to see me first. This is opened up whole new adventure that I never thought possible my dream of becoming a PADI Dive Instructor. I first need to get handicap certified for diving, I have certification as a PADI Dive Master but, think it's been 10 years since I dove, so it'll be a good refresher. The dive class starts January 13 and I'm so pumped up for the possibilities. Just think about it, a Disabled Veteran Diving instructor sharing dive knowledge with other Disabled Veterans coming back and of course, all potential disabled divers with the Threus Foundation.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Dad (Bert DeVere 1952-1990),

Here’s what you missed since you been gone; I graduated high school, went into the Coast Guard., and received several awards including “Junior Enlisted of the Year” in 1994. Lived in Hawaii and surfed and became a Padi Divemaster. Was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2002 and survived a near fatal accident which left me partially paralyzed, in 2005. 20 minutes before my accident, I turned my life over to Jesus Christ. I know Jesus spared my life for a reason.
 After, I moved back from Hawaii. I got familiar with the local Chumash traditions, Married a beautiful woman in a traditional way by the elders. My mom said she wishes you could have been there to see it. Our anniversary date is on father’s day. So I know you have been there to see it go by each year. There is so much more I want to tell you, but I know you have been there through it all. I am comforted by the thought of being with you in the afterlife. I wish you could have been there physically and tell me you’re proud of me and a good son. I miss you very much!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My letter to the Veterans Affairs

This morning, as I sat in prayer, going through my head about each step of the VA experience:  Labs, infusion and appointment. I got on an Access Para transit ride to the VA, leaving my wife to meet me later, after the appointment. I got a call, an hour into my ride with heavy traffic,  from my wife, saying the doctor was sick and canceled the appointment. At first, I was disappointed but took it with a stride.

All day at the VA, not fun! I turned it around and looked at it as a day of fun at the Starbucks!! I arrived at the VA with the only hope of having my wife,  enduring a two hour drive to pick me up and another day off  for going to the VA.

I wheeled up to the infusion center where my medication would be administered and they confirmed what my wife said, Dr. Baumheffner, my neurologist, was sick and all visits would have to wait till be got better.

 I started rolling down to the Starbucks to get an iced Caramel Macchiato. My wife called and said to go to the lab where they get the blood sample, I get prior to medication. I wondered why? She said that the neurologist on call would cover for Dr. Baumheffner. Miracle!!.

Didn’t expect to hear that at all!! When you deal with the VA and they say NO! it usually means NO! And I know of 1.2 million that would agree. We, Rosanna and I had an angel behind the scenes named Trish who was ready and willing to go beyond the level of her pay-grade in order to facilitate a needed medication to a veteran who was 4 weeks behind. Not only that, she also made arrangements to see that Neurologist for an appointment that Dr. Baumheffner had scheduled.

After the Infusion, we received a call that said we should go to the place of the Neurologist. We however, got the call after we left to go home. Miracle!! Everthing happened exactly as I prayed it to happen! Praise God!!

Some veterans do not enjoy or take their care with the VA for granted.
I am truly pleased with Dr.W and his assistant Trish for their services rendered and carry the spirit of service. Thank You!!
Joseph and Rosanna DeVere

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My adventures with not smoking

I started smoking at age 10 with a friend Darin McGrath, while camping with his family. I remember my first cigarette greeted me with coughing. Darin taught me to take invisible hits and I would adjust. It worked, I continued down the road attempting to be “Cool” and fitting in. Kelly Camp, my best friend, joined me trying to smoke everything that burned including our spelling book. At 16, I was a fulltime smoker and gravitated to the crew that hung out in the Agoura high school access road. I finally enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard when I was eighteen. I was legal!! Smoking gave me a false sense of status, a reward system and way to settle down. My dad smoked, my mom smoked and no-one ever gave me a reason to stop including my parents. It was universally accepted by the fellowship I kept which was, recovering alcoholics who smoked rather than drink. Smoking was normal, and I received very little encouragement to stop. In my 20’s, I had brief periods of not smoking. I would come to a peaceful, relaxed state and I would reward myself with a smoke which always led to a pack, even though I promised to stop for good. I would think to myself “I just wanted one cigarette then I would stop”. This addiction model  has carried on to this day, 30 years later, can you believe it?! This will bring us here to this day, I am now 39. I am a professional quitter. My wife doesn’t smoke and I have been ordering a pack at a time because I am always on the verge of quitting. I understand the destruction it causes in people and families and I just can’t stop. I needed spiritual help and I turned to Jesus to relieve me of this obsession. He did it for me when I was baptized and I need him to do it again. An elder at my “Toast to the master and Lord” , Toastmasters group encouraged me by offering advanced gratitude for relieving me of this problem and I got to tell you it’s worked so far.  Jesus is so awesome!! Our provider and friend. He spared my life in my accident and he’s not going to let go of me now!! Today is day three and I’m breathing easier.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Do you have a seat in heaven?

What do think when you hear the word “Jesus”?

Condemnation, religion, Church, rules , republican and dogma? I hope to answer some of these questions. Let us see what the bible says.

John 3:14-17
14 "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15 so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. 16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

To us it says we only have to believe and that’s where it goes.  So, when you boil it down, it’s a change in your belief system, not a turn to a religious body or church doctrine.

What about rules?

Let’s start by the laws that govern our behavior in the United States. Try not paying taxes and see what happens. God knew we would all fall short. How about lying (by omission), stealing and bearing false witness (Gossip) and pre-marital sex? I fall short of many of these. What will we say when confronted by God? I’m sorry? That’s not enough. God wants to have an intimate relationship with each one of us and will seek us out like a father coming to the rescue! God sent his son to redeem us and bring us into his family!

Sacrifice, God needs this to forgive our sins. Jesus came as an offering for us in order to enter his kingdom.

I understand that we were born into sin thanks to Adam and Eve. I hope this answers a couple of these questions. If we all were not set into sin, why would God send his son to suffer and die for us?

So, this system of universal laws pertain to us. We used to burn sheep, goats and cattle as offerings to receive forgiveness then Jesus came as an offering for us all!! Even you!! Now is the time and now is the place!
 Simply say

"Jesus, I am sorry for my sins, I surrender completely to you, write my name in the Lamb’s book of life, Thank you Jesus!!"

There is an eternal reservation in heaven just for you!! Thank you for reading through this blog! You have taken a huge step in your life and want to congratulate you!!
What are the benefits you ask?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

What inspires you?

It inspires me when I hear a story about someone who rises above a physical disability and positively impacts the world. This brings me to the word “inspire”.

: to exert an animating, enlivening, or exalting influence on

These folks are like angels in the dark nights of others in order to bring them light. I learned of a man without arms or legs, Nick Vujicic . Nick was born with no arms or legs and struggled with his situation to the point of suicidal ideation at age 10. “How could God use me?” he would ask. He received his answer as he confronted his situation head-on. Since then Nick swims, surfs and talks to students around the world about hope, inspiration and the word of God. He continues to extend his heart to all he meets and says to those who need a miracle, to be the miracle to someone else.

I also want to talk about Joni Eareckson Tada I have yet to meet her, but I am so encouraged by both of these stories. Joni Eareckson Tada, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Joni and Friends International Disability Center, is an international advocate for people with disabilities.

A diving accident in 1967 left Joni Eareckson, then 17, a quadriplegic in a wheelchair, unable to use her hands. After two years of rehabilitation, she emerged with new skills and a fresh determination to help others in similar situations. During her rehabilitation, Joni spent long months learning how to paint with a brush between her teeth. Her high-detail fine art paintings and prints are highly sought-after.

These are 2 of my mentors by the example they set for a hope and a future despite being disabled. There is always someone 10 times  worse off, handling it 10 times better. After I Adaptive Skied, whitewater rafted, kayaked and surf kayaked I realized the only thing stopping me was my desire or lack of desire to try something new.  I wanted to form an organization in order to help new members of the disabled community by encouraging adventure sports. The Threus Foundation does just that. Our flagship program “Get Stoked on Skiing”, brings first time skiers to the slopes and covers the costs associated. Our Whitewater rafting program called “Rolling on the River” brings the disabled to the South Fork Kern River for a day of rafting and adventure.

The sky is the limit!! Make 2012 the best year of your life!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas from Joe and Rosanna DeVere!!

It’s been a great year! We have done over 10 ski trips many trips during summer. Mammoth was open till July 4th and we took full advantage of that.  My health has stabilized with MS and the frequent UTI’s. Rosanna is still working at the Westlake Pet Motel and loves being covered in critters! We celebrated our 9th anniversary on the Mountain in June. The big 10 is coming up this year in 2012 and we love each other more each day. Rosanna’s birthdays is on Christmas and get to spoil her on her special day. We have some exciting plans for the Threus Foundation. We expanded our reach to Colorado and made any disability available to participate with us. We are thankful for all of our friends and family who supported our efforts and wish each of you a most wonderful holiday season. Consider a donation for our cause here: And check out the video we made!!