Quadriplegic Cycles From Oregon to Santa Monica Pier to Raise Money for People in Need of Wheelchairs - NBC Bay Area

Quadriplegic Cycles From Oregon to Santa Monica Pier to Raise Money for People in Need of Wheelchairs

"I have people who help me, and in some of these countries, they don't. They drag themselves around on the dirt"

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    Quadriplegic Father, Family Cycle 1,200 Miles for Charity

    Nathan Ogden and his family cycled from Oregon to the Santa Monica Pier to raise hope and money for wheelchairs for those in need. (Published Saturday, July 22, 2017)

    A quadriplegic man and his family finished cycling 1,200 miles Friday, landing at the Santa Monica Pier after starting the cross-state journey in Mt. Bachelor, Oregon, about two weeks ago.

    The goal is to inspire others to keep moving despite their disabilities and to raise money for people in need of wheelchairs.

    "We're trying to raise $100,00 for people in underdeveloped countries that need to get off the ground," Nathan Ogden said. "I have people who help me, and in some of these countries, they don't. They drag themselves around on the dirt."

    Four months ago, Ogden and his family founded Chair the Hope after Ogden's wife, Heather, suggested riding bicycles relay-style with their family of six to fundraise for their cause.

    "Our family hashtag is living unfrozen," said the inspirational speaker and father of four. "Meaning that, I'm physically paralyzed ... but it's when you get mentally paralyzed that you become frozen and you stop doing things that you really want to do in life."

    Ogden became paralyzed 15 years ago when he broke his neck coming off a ski jump in Oregon. He later broke his neck a second time after being dropped from an X-ray table, causing him additional loss of his upper body function.

    "Our cause cuts close to home especially because of my husband and everything he has been through," Heather Ogden said. "As I think of the people who are needing these wheelchairs, I think of what a life unfrozen can be for them."

    Ogden estimates that $100,000 will provide about 700 wheelchairs to those in need, including the cost of shipping them internationally. As of Saturday night, Chair the Hope has raised about $30,000, according to their website.

    "One hundred and fifty dollars provides a high quality wheelchair for the rest of their life," Ogden said. "You've just changed their life forever -- not for a day, a week, a month. You've just given them independence, choice, opportunity that they do not have right now."

    The family hopes to provide as many wheelchairs as possible by donating the money they raise to the Wheelchair Foundation, who gifts wheelchairs to people all over the world.

    To donate to the Chair the Hope foundation, visit http://chairthehope.com/.