BINGHAMTON, NY – For the first time in over 4 years, Liam Wagner has walked a mile.
The Binghamton man suffered a spinal cord injury in a motorcycle accident in 2016, losing the ability to use his legs below the knee.
But with the help of forearm crutches, he started walking short distances earlier this year.
Wagner already participates in adaptive skiing and wanted to raise money for the Kelly Brush Foundation which helped him purchase a Monoski.
So he set a goal of walking one mile while encouraging friends and supporters to donate a total of $5,000 to the Brush Foundation.
He more than doubled that number, which is currently over $12,800 and more than 90 physically distanced supporters turned out to cheer him on on Saturday at the Vestal Rail Trail.
“The minute that I turned around at that half mile mark, obviously everyone was there. They split like the Nile is what it looked like. At that moment, I was just getting misty-eyed, it was unbelievable the amount of support. A number online doesn’t mean anything. But when you see human beings out there, right there supporting you, clapping you on, it’s an emotional time. It’s just unbelievable. I love my community so much. This event has just propelled that,” says Wagner.
Wagner is already trying to decide which milestone he’ll try to conquer next year.
The Kelly Brush Foundation provides adaptive sports equipment, like hand bikes, for people with spinal cord injuries.
Wagner is still collecting donations for the foundation.
You can donate using a link on his Facebook page Liam Wagner.