Cross-Country Wheelchair Trip Begins on Delmarva - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Cross-Country Wheelchair Trip Begins on Delmarva

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Mark "Rowdy" Daniel on his wheelchair in Milton. (Photo: Mark Daniel) Mark "Rowdy" Daniel on his wheelchair in Milton. (Photo: Mark Daniel)

SUSSEX COUNTY, Del.- Forced into a wheelchair about a decade ago, Mark "Rowdy" Daniel has decided to travel across the country to live out a dream of his and inspire people along the way.

Wednesday morning in Greenwood presented a challenge for Daniel, just like every day of his journey will.  A bearing on the front wheel of his three-wheel wheelchair failed, causing Daniel to undergo some roadside repairs.  But the kindness of stranger got him back on his path.  A neighbor brought Rowdy a bike wheel, fitting perfectly onto his wheelchair, and allowing him to get back out on the road.

Daniel is making a trip from Delaware to California in his wheelchair.  Specifically, from Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes to San Francisco.  The journey will taken him on the northern path of the American Discovery Trail, more than 4,800 miles in total.  All from the seat of his wheelchair.  Rowdy was forced into that chair back in 2007 during an accident in his native state of Florida.

"On Oct. 19, at about 11:30 on the way home one night, I feel asleep and flipped my truck.  So, the truck rolled seven times.  I was ejected out of the passenger side and it was a burst fracture of my T-10 vertebrae," Daniel said.

Daniel said his plan is to finish his trip to San Francisco by Oct. 19, the anniversary of his accident.  And along the way, through more than a dozen states, he hopes to inspire people along the way.  Either by meeting them on the street or spreading his positive message to his followers on social media.

"I hope by showing people this kind of dedication and the willingness to push myself physically, mentally, and emotionally to do this, I hope that I inspire other people to look at their goals no matter how daunting they are, or their dreams.  And go out and chase those dreams," Daniel said.

Daniel's time on Delmarva will soon be coming to an end but he said the people he has met along the way have been nothing but kind making Delmarva a great place to kick-off his adventure. You can follow Daniel on Facebook and he said if you see him on the side of the road, he'd love an encouraging message, or even a ride back to his truck, which he is bringing along during his trip.

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