Michele Williams – TRR Boise

I served briefly in the Navy.  While I was in the Navy I was diagnosed with a DVT and Pulmonary Embolism. The damage to my leg was bad enough that I could not remain in the Navy.  A few years after my military service I found out I was pregnant and was diagnosed with Lupus and Kidney disease which is the reason for my blood clots. Since serving in the Navy I have been married to a wonderful man and have a fabulous 21 year old daughter.  About five years ago I had a kidney transplant.  It was a difficult recovery because of some complications.  I also hurt my back.  At this point in my life I was inactive because of pain and a sedentary lifestyle.
I finally reached a point where I couldn’t deal with pain anymore.  I hate pain pills and chose not to go down that path.  My husband and I decided to purchase a swim spa so I would be able to exercise in water.  At that point my doctor referred me to Rec Therapy to start to get active.  This was a life changer for me I lost over 25 pounds and started to be active.  At a cross country ski trip Sandy Thomas told me about TRR and told me to check it out.  I was scared to death to be in a kayak even though I was a good swimmer at this point.  I decided to try it out and loved it.  
I was definitely afraid of whitewater kayaking and never thought I would do it .  After doing a couple pool sessions and pond sessions.  I felt a little better but still nervous about being on a river.  Sandy Thomas and I were chosen to go on a leadership kayaking trip on the San Juan River and had a great time.  
Through TRR I have been able to overcome my fears and built confidence in myself. I also found that even though I might live with constant pain if I’m on the river and nervous about going through rapids I am not thinking about my pain.  

Vanessa Jones

Committe Co-Chair

Vanessa A. Jones is a dynamic force dedicated to fostering
inclusivity, encouraging discussion, and promoting a culture of
belonging in the outdoor sports community. Hailing from
Washington, DC, she brings a wealth of diverse experiences and
perspectives to her endeavors.
As a US Army veteran and ordained Chaplain with a focus on
seniors and caretakers, Vanessa is deeply committed to serving
others. Her work as a patient-caretaker advocate reflects her
passion for supporting vulnerable populations and ensuring their
voices are heard.
Currently, Vanessa is employed by a resettlement agency, where
she confronts challenges head-on with resilience and
compassion. As a single, Black woman veteran, she embraces
the unique hurdles she faces, viewing them as opportunities for
growth and empowerment.
In her downtime, she wears many hats, including that of a
missionary, spreading hope and positivity wherever she goes.
Weekends are spent paddling, immersing herself in West African
dance and finding solace and joy in nature’s embrace.
Vanessa is committed to equitable principles, ensuring that
everyone’s opinions are valued and heard. Through her
unwavering dedication and inclusive leadership, Vanessa is
paving the way for a more equitable and diverse outdoor sports