At three years old, Nick Carr was told he would never walk again, and he spent the next 23 years in a wheelchair. The culprit that stole his ability to walk was encephalitis, an acute brain inflammation which can affect personality, appetite, muscular coordination, and the nervous system.
Like so many inspirational stories about brave men and women with disabilities, Nick, now 26, has defied the odds and his doctors by stepping out of his wheelchair and walking a full 65 feet in front of a cheering and emotional crowd.
The effort was a charity event intended to raise money for a new sports center for people with disabilities, and Nick spent an entire year in the gym training before the big moment, using a rowing machine, static bicycle and leg press, on which he eventually was able to lift an impressive 100 kg (220 lbs.). He completed the challenge aided by his friend John Williams at Lemon Quay in Truro.
Before the walk, Nick said, “I have taken a few steps holding onto the back of my wheelchair, but I am sure I can reach the 20-metre mark.”
The ecstatic crowd could read sheer determination and more than a little pain on Nick’s face as he pulled himself out of his wheelchair and took those first tentative steps that were never supposed to happen. “It was incredibly tough and very painful,” he said. “I knew there were a lot of people watching me, but I was focused on getting the walk done.” He went on to say, “It felt amazing to do this for such a worthy cause.”
The proposed sports center, called the Centre of Challenge and Innovation, will cost approximately £20million (approx. $32,400,000 USD), and will house a wave rider, diving pool, rock climbing wall, and sky-diving tunnel among its many amenities, all of which will be designed for use by people with disabilities. Nick and his friends Williams and Keith Cornick took part in a 1,000-mile charity tour of the United Kingdom and successfully raised over £10,000 (approx. $16,200 USD) for the effort. The tour began in John O’Groats in Scotland, and ended in Land’s End in Cornwall.
Said Nick, “John and Keith have traveled over 1,000 miles to help raise funds. I am going to walk 20 metres. I’m very determined to make it happen.” He went on to say, “I want to help raise money for the centre because it can help people like me to get better and believe in themselves. It fits in with what I want to do. To walk for me was seen as an impossible challenge, and I want the Centre of Challenge to inspire people.”
Denise Boaden, one of the fundraising backers for the proposed center, said, “It was inspirational and very moving. People were cheering Nick on and a few people were crying. It was very emotional.”
Watch the video to see what determination looks like. What are you determined to accomplish in the near future?