Jason Koger is a gift to the Universe. He is by far the best and most capable bilateral upper extremity amputee I have ever seen. There is nothing that he can’t do. He just does things differently. He looks at a situation, he says this is what I have to work with, and he does it. Just like I do. Jason has a remarkable life story of perseverance & adaptation. In 2008 while riding an atv on his family’s farm, he came in contact with a downed power wire. Jason was electrocuted with 7000 volts of electricity. His injuries were so severe that doctors had to amputate both of his arms below the elbows. After just 2 weeks of recovery in the hospital, Jason came home and started the next chapter of his life, as an amputee. He first taught himself to drive a car. He then taught himself to shoot a gun and a bow. Before long, the Owensboro KY native was back in the woods enjoying his favorite pastime, hunting.
I first met Jason in 2012 at an amputee convention in Florida. I had met hundreds of people that weekend, all with equally compelling stories, but there was something about Jason and his energy that resonated with my spirit. I knew that I had to work with him in some way shape or form. We quickly became friends and spoke often about how we could work together to bring healing and positivity to the world. We are both super passionate about sharing our stories of survival in the hopes that they will serve as a source of inspiration and encouragement to those who need to hear them. During one of our phone conversations, Jason told me about an idea that he had for a fundraiser on the anniversary of his accident, March 5. He wanted to have an event where he could showcase local talent to help generate funds that would be donated to charity. He named it “Handing Back” by Jason Koger. Clever, because he has no hands. Local bands, artists and celebrities came to the Owensboro Convention Center to help with the event.
Even Dr. Peter Weller who starred in the movie Robocop, who is a personal friend of Jason’s, came and spoke to the capacity crowd. All totaled, Jason donated $18,000 to various charities. Not bad for a lil country boy from bug tussle USA. After the success of the first Handing Back event, it only made sense to organize another one.
On March 5, 2016, Handing Back by Jason Koger II kicked off once again at the Owensboro Convention Center. This year’s musical guests included local band Insulated, Jared Ashley, the acoustic duo of Buddy Owen & Ray Stenson (Buddy was a contestant on The Voice) and Halfway To Hazard, who opens for country singer Tim McGraw. Actor Peter Weller once again made the trip from Hollywood CA to take pictures and sign autographs for the crowd. Mike McFadden of M&M Customs had some beautiful motorcycles on display. Every dollar of the money raised will again go to support various charities.
Jason Koger is such an inspiration to me given the fact that he is not rich, he is not smart, and he is not good looking (we joke & kid a lot) but he used his God given talents to bring together an amazing group of people and organize an amazing event that generated resources that will go a long way in helping people who need help. He is a perfect example of how one person can make a difference in this world.
After his injury, Jason could have become a burden on his family and on society, but he chose to be an asset. He turned what some would view as a negative into a way to help others. After reading this story, please ask yourself “what can I do to make the world a better place?” The world needs more Jason Kogers.
For more information and to contact Jason Koger, please go to jasonkoger.com