Quadriplegic man, family to bike from Oregon to L.A.

Bend, Ore (KTVZ/CNN Newsource) – A quadriplegic man and his family are setting out to bike 1,200 from Mt. Bachelor, Oregon to Los Angeles.

They’re working to raise awareness and a $100,000 to buy wheelchairs for people in developing nations.

They were set to begin Monday.

A skiing accident changed Nathan Ogden’s life forever. He said, “I went skiing at Mt. Bachelor with my brother in law and I came off a jump wrong landed on my neck, shattered my C7 vertebrae and I was instantly paralyzed.”

Nathan Ogden’s wife, Heather, is from Bend and they were visiting her family.

They were married for 4 years and had two young children when his accident left him paralyzed.

Nathan was 26-years-old when he was diagnosed as quadriplegic.

But he stayed positive and was confident he could walk again.
However a year after the accident he became sick and while getting an x-ray, fell off the gurney and broke his neck again.

He says that’s when he became paralyzed, not just physically but mentally as well. “We call it in our family, frozen, so we like to live our lives unfrozen. it was very difficult though, it did, it mentally paralyzed me and I dealt with depression and I still deal with pain and it was a tough time to kind of grasp do I want to live life again in a different way than what I dreamt it to be.”

It’s now been 15 years since the accident, and he says the life he has now would not be possible without the love and support of his family.

Nathan and Heather have been married 20 years now and have four children.

A few months ago, Heather came up with the idea to help raise money for wheelchairs to be delivered in other countries where people might not have access to them.

Heather said, “I just kept thinking, ‘Man, we haven’t done something with our family in a while to just have think more about others and give back and make a difference.’”

Nathan, Heather, and their children will bike 1,200 to Los Angeles in relay-style, raising awareness and hopefully a $100,000 for the Wheelchair Foundation.

Nathan will use a special bike. Instead of using his hands, he will have adaptive gloves that clip on, so that he can push himself the entire way.

Nathan said this bike ride is not really about him, it’s about the people who they’re raising money for and who need wheelchairs.

He said he wants people to have a choice, and when something bad happens, don’t give up on your dreams–just find a new way to get there.

And he knows exactly what it feels like to be stuck. “And that’s the worst feeling you can have is to want to do something and to have it right there and you can’t.”

The whole family wants this bike ride to show anyone can keep going, even when it’s hard.

Heather said, “This has actually given us an opportunity to push harder and hopefully have other people see what we’re doing and go out and push harder themselves and dream a little bit bigger.”

The Ogden family hopes to bike into LA on July 21st, making a few stops along the way, but encouraging everyone to follow their journey and help other people.

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