In 2001, Jeremy was your typical fun-loving, sporty thrill seeker; tough and fearless – the exact traits that would serve him so well when he would have to embrace a new life or die with his old one.
Addicted to drugs and out of control, his younger brother was slowly killing himself. Jeremy would have given anything – even his own life – for his brother to be saved. He wished for something big and catastrophic to happen to him, but even Jeremy wasn’t prepared for what was in store. On a hot September day, Jeremy found himself lying mangled on the asphalt after he was hit by a car while driving his motorcycle. He would later recount that the street where he fell felt so warm, almost inviting him to close his eyes and sleep a while. It was as if death was seducing him, but Jeremy's resilience kicked in and he decided to fight for his life.
He lost the use of his legs that day, but Jeremy's accident and his own personal struggles slowly gave way to helping his brother find a new inner strength he had long since forgotten. He is no longer just an athlete or adrenaline enthusiast; but a bright and inspiring author, speaker and adventurer. Jeremy recently climbed a dangerous backcountry peak and then turned around to ski the steep pitch in his sit-ski. Every moment was caught on film and released as a feature-length documentary called “Drop In” in fall 2013. From the painstaking 1000+ pull-ups to reach the top to the tears of joy and exhaustion, the film captures the true essence of the man Jeremy has become: a born leader and go-getter with solid resolve.
In a world where people go through each day filled with fear and excuses, Jeremy has found a way to inspire others to open their minds and truly live. Beyond tackling daunting athletic feats, Jeremy has dedicated his life to encouraging and motivating others. He has appeared on TEDx and regularly speaks to students and professional sports teams.
In July 2014, Jeremy’s next adventure will take him to the ocean for the 18th annual Molokai2Oahu Paddleboard Race, where he will join dozens of other athletes on a 32-mile journey across the Hawaiian Islands’ Ka’iwi Channel. To prepare for the grueling physical challenge, Jeremy will collaborate with a team of Tri-City Medical Center doctors and care professionals specializing in everything from personal training to shoulder preservation to hyperbaric oxygen treatments; in the months leading up to the race. After successfully working with Tri-City Medical Center and its wound care program last year, Jeremy has found a second family in the TCMC staff.
More Behind The Story
Tri-City Medical Center’s #jeremy2oahu is developing and delivering the healthcare and wellness programs Jeremy needs to reach his audacious and inspiring goal. We are drawing upon our many medical and wellness specialty programs including:
Personal Training Facility - Tri-City Wellness Center
Located at 6250 El Camino Real in Carlsbad, Tri-City Wellness Center is a fully integrated wellness campus focused on our members’ total well-being. Our services range from day-to-day health maintenance to sports performance training and rehabilitation. Our hand cycle and water therapy pool are just two of the unique pieces of equipment Jeremy is incorporating into his training. And our team of degreed and certified fitness specialists and dietitians are also helping Jeremy to achieve peak performance for his race. http://www.tricitywellness.com
Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatments - Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine
Our hospital-affiliated, outpatient wound care center is dedicated to the treatment of chronic, non-healing wounds. Led by Medical Director Gary Willard, MD, CWS, FACCWS; the center is located at 6260 El Camino Real, Carlsbad. Jeremy became a patient here in 2012 after a staph infection attacked his vertebrae. Under Dr. Willard’s care, Jeremy was treated successfully for the aggressive and persistent bacteria. Hyperbaric oxygen treatments were a big component of his successful treatment and Jeremy sees the value of incorporating hyperbaric treatments to speed his recovery from intense training.
Physical Therapy – Rehabilitation Services
Tri-City Medical Center’s Rehabilitation Services assist stroke, brain or spinal cord injury patients or those who have been diagnosed with a neuromuscular disease. Our licensed therapy staff help patients recover and regain skills. Our outpatient physical therapy services will help Jeremy recover from or prevent injuries during his training. In addition, Jeremy will benefit from the use of aquatic therapy in the region's most advanced therapy pool.
Shoulder & Rotator Cuff Care – Orthopaedic & Spine Institute
The founder of the http://sdsi-shoulder.com, Dr. James Esch is world renown as an expert in shoulder injury and surgery. Dr. Esch has been practicing medicine since 1968 and joined Tri-City Medical Center in 1970. He and other others from the Orthopaedic & Spine Institute team at Tri-City Medical Center will support Jeremy’s training through their valuable expertise and medical consultation as needed.
Massage Therapy – The Spa at Tri-City
The Spa at Tri-City is located in the Tri-City Wellness Center and offers therapeutic massage. Massage therapy’s many benefits include relaxing muscles as well as improving range of motion and speeding recovery from exercise or injury. Jeremy will benefit from massage therapy treatment during his intensive paddleboard race training.
Other - Cardiovascular Health Institute
Jeremy will benefit from Tri-City’s cardiovascular health expertise with testing and tips to improve cardiovascular performance which will be essential to success in this endurance challenge.
Follow His Journey
July 1, 2014
We share Jeremy’s disappointment in missing this year’s Molokai2Oahu race and agree wholeheartedly that his number one priority needs to be his health.
June 18, 2014
Community is an important thing and I must be honest, even though I'm in paradise, I'm feeling homesick. Eighty degree turquoise water is always nice, but living in a new place, feeling lost and alone is hard and I find myself dreaming of my community back home. Before I left, I was sticking to a strict regimen of training, body maintenance and recovery at Tri-City Wellness Center and something unexpected happened: I found a family there. A team of experts collaborating about my body and how to best help me succeed made me feel appreciated and accepted. Spending countless hours together in the gym, we got to know each other well too. Here, I have my crew I paddle and train with, but they do not know and understand me that way the team at Tri-City does.
In the meantime, I am ramping up slowly and by the time the day of the event is here, I'll have a few 20 milers under my belt. The major task at hand is learning to surf the open ocean wind swell, and that is where my focus is.
Every practice, I am getting stronger and more confident in this very wild, tumultuous 3D ocean here. I am going to give this endeavor my best effort but definitely looking forward to getting back to my family at Tri-City. On our own, we are only capable of so much but together we are strong.
June 13, 2014
Jeremy's custom-made paddleboard, sponsored by Tri-City Medical Center, arrived in Kailua and now Jeremy has stepped up his ocean training. Only 44 days before the Molokai2Oahu crossing!
June 14, 2014
The Coast News sat down to chat with Jeremy and his trainer Siene Freeman of the Tri-City Wellness Center about his training regimen and the sense of adventure that drew him to the Molokai2Oahu race-now only 43 days away!
Article (The Coast News)
June 9, 2014
Since arriving in Kailua, Oahu; Jeremy has added on to his support team with new fans like Jonah.
June 1, 2014
Jeremy arrived in his new training locale - Hawaii!
May 31, 2014
For the past month, Jeremy's rigorous San Diego training schedule has kept him busy five days a week. Here's what his training schedule looked like:
- Mondays & Wednesdays: strength conditioning and cardio sessions at Tri-City Wellness Center
- Tuesdays & Thursdays: paddling 5 to 20 miles at Aqua Hedionda Lagoon
- Thursdays: physical therapy and strategic massage treatments at Tri-City Wellness Center
- Fridays & Sundays: rest days
May 9, 2014
Jeremy shared his inspirational story and current desire to help redefine stereotypes with the upcoming Molokai2Oahu Paddleboard Championships this morning on KUSI News. Siene Freeman - Fitness Trainer at Tri-City Wellness Center was also on hand to support.
April 30, 2014 – "No Joke!"
Knowing what he’s up against Jeremy starts preparating. No time to waste, just two months before the competition.
April 29, 2014
Jeremy took a break from training to join a rocking mid-day luau in his honor. The event was hosted by Tri-City Medical Center to celebrate Team Jeremy2Oahu and his exciting pursuit of the Molokai2Oahu paddle race. Five hundred guests turned out to meet and cheer on Jeremy.
March 24, 2014 - Jeremy Talks Training
Although preparing for a 32-mile paddleboard race is no easy feat, extreme athlete Jeremy McGhee has a powerful support team in his corner. Partially paralyzed since 2001, Jeremy has tackled mountains and waves most adrenaline enthusiasts could only dream of, but the July 2014 Molokai2Oahu Paddleboard Race takes a unique training regimen. From nutrition to optimal shoulder and cardio performance; the Tri-City Medical Center and Wellness Center doctors, trainers and support coaches that form “Team Jeremy” will stand by him every step and stroke of the way to ensure he comes out on top. Learn more about Team Jeremy and watch his progress at www.tricitymed.org/teamjeremy
March 8 - Accessible Icon Launch
Jeremy, community leaders and staff members were on hand to witness the unveiling of the the Accessible Icon, a symbol of empowerment for those living with disabilities today. TCMC is the first agency in California to adopt the Accessible Icon.
March 7 - Team Jeremy Kicks Off
On March 7, Jeremy sat down with Team Jeremy members representing the Center for Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine, Marketing, Rehabilitation Services, Tri-City Wellness Center and Tri-City Laser & Aesthetics Center.
He shared his vision for “Team Jeremy” and his gratitude for the support the medical center would provide him in pursuit of his dream.
Molokai 2 Oahu
March 24, 2014
The 18th edition of the Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championships (M2O)
, presented by Kona Longboard Island Lager is set for Sunday, July 27, 2014. Connecting the islands of Molokai and Oahu, this 32-mile race crosses the Ka’iwi Channel, also known as the Molokai Channel. Men and women from more than 15 countries will face strong currents as they navigate the fastest downwind route over one of the deepest channels in the world. Top athletes complete the crossing in less than five hours, riding mid-channel waves that can crest more than 12 feet and carry paddlers hundreds of meters at a time. M2O starts on Kaluakoi Beach on the north shore of Molokai and finishes in Maunalua Bay on the south shore of Oahu. Founded in 1997, M2O has grown from a grassroots challenge for the legendary lifeguards and watermen of Oahu to the premiere event for the sport of paddleboarding. The annual race is a deeply personal experience, challenging every paddler’s physical and mental endurance. Every finisher experiences an individual championship.