“226: How I Became the First Blind Person to Kayak the Grand Canyon” chronicles the brave and inspiring story of how Lonnie Bedwell (USN, retired) accomplished kayaking 226 miles through the Grand Canyon without use of sight.

Adventurer and veteran Lonnie Bedwell recently launched the electronic version of 226: How I Became the First Blind Person to Kayak the Grand Canyon, which rapidly landed on five bestseller lists, including No.#1 and Hot New Release in Kayaking on Amazon. The book narrates Bedwell’s amazing achievement navigating the Colorado River whitewater through the entire Grand Canyon.

Bedwell, a U.S. Navy veteran and “’lights-out’ blind,” embarked on the dangerous and historic undertaking to draw public awareness to the plight of disabled veterans who have served in Iraq and/or Afghanistan, and to show these veterans, many of whom suffer from clinical depression, what they could accomplish by taking advantage of volunteer programs like Team River Runner.

“I’m always incredibly grateful when someone tells me that I inspired them to keep moving, keep growing and enjoy life again,” says Bedwell. “I hope this book helps someone else like me achieve his or her dreams.” The book also features testimonies from veterans about how Team River Runner improved their minds, bodies and spirits by providing challenging physical activities geared toward their individual needs.

“You can learn a lot from Lonnie,” says former combat medic Alex Nielson, who was Bedwell’s lead guide on the trip. “I learned so much from him that by the end of our time together in the Grand Canyon, I realized that the trip was really as much about Lonnie guiding me as it was about me guiding Lonnie.”

After serving nine years as a crewmember on the USS Oklahoma City SSM723 submarine, followed by service in the National Guard, Bedwell lost his sight in a near-fatal hunting accident. Since then, he has raised three daughters as a single father, acted as a mentor in the adaptive sports programs at the VA’s Central Blind Rehabilitation Center in Chicago, and of course, become the first blind individual to kayak the Grand Canyon.

Find out more about Lonnie at

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