My name is Nathan Sanders and I am 27 years old. When I was born, I had a birth defect known as Bilateral PFFD, something that was only known in 300 cases world wide at the time. Because this was a bone problem, there wasn't a cure, and the only option was amputation of both of my legs at age 6. Between 6 and 10, I spent approximately 6 months per year at the Shriners Childrens Hospital in Greenville, SC. The majority of that time I was in body casts from the 20 surgeries I had on my legs to help try to correct the issue, or at least help me have a better quality of living. Luckily for me, I never slowed down and my parents never let me give up on life.
School was different for me. Because I went to public school, I thrived to be more like the other children. I joined the band in middle school, and in highschool was allowed to participate in the marching band. Due to the help from other parents, I was given a wheelchair with mountain bike tires on it and had my drums rigged to it in a way that allowed me to be on the field in formation with my peers. This made me feel like I was just like everyone else. In 2004 I graduated from highschool, and in 2006 my daughter was born. I now am the father of an active 7 year old girl, and I really want to be able to be a good example for her. This cycle would allow me to be able to take her on trips and teach her to ride her bike and spend a lot more time with her.
In 2010 I married the love of my life and mother of my daughter. She has encouraged me to be more physical and get out and explore, and to never let my disability define my abilities. She has been my #1 fan through all of this and my #1 supporter.
While I do kayak, moving to the mountains of NC has given me the urge to want to take up cycling. There are always races and fundraisers going on, and I am surrounded by cyclists. I have recently been told about a group here on my side of the state that are active handcyclists, but after doing some research I realize that it is a very expensive sport to get into. I have done much prayer about this and was led to this site today by the grace of God. Hopefully with the help of friends and family and generally good people, this dream will be possible. Please, if you need to, add me on facebook and please just donate whatever God leads you to and makes possible for you.
I plan on using this handbike to my advantage to help do fundraisers for other people, and to inspire other newly disabled people and children to get out there and not give up! Just because you were dealt a different hand than everyone else in life, it doesn't mean God doesn't love you and it doesn't mean you should just give up! Get out and make a difference! Everything is possible through Christ who Strengthens me!