Saturday dozens of disabled people were able to catch some waves in Garden City thanks to the help of the Wheel to Surf event.
For many with disabilities wheelchairs is the only way to be mobile, but that wasn’t the case Saturday as chairs were left on the beach for a different means of getting around.
“This gives me a warm feeling to see kids go out for the first time,” said Brock Johnson.
Johnson surfed for 13 years, until a diving accident paralyzed him.
He says he quickly realized he wouldn’t be the same person again.
“I was kind of in mourning for walking but surfing might even be above that,” he said.
Johnson says the depression lasted until he decided to do something about it.
“Sports really turned it around for me; gave me an outlet; something to do. Before, I was just shut in,” said Johnson.
That’s why dozens of volunteers were out on the beach looking to give the same chance to many others with disabilities.
“They have the same desires and passion that we liked to do and we’re just providing it with a different kind of an adaption,” said Melinda Chappell.
Chappell is the Director of Coastal Carolina Adaptive Sports.
She and Johnson helped organize the wheel to surf event.
Volunteers wheeled, carried, and pushed so that people with disabilities could experience riding a wave.
Chappell says the ocean is an equalizer for people who usually have to spend their day sitting in a wheel chair.
“The goal is to get as many people into the water as we possibly can,” she said.
For more information visit the adaptive surf project’s Facebook.