WALTHAM, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Thanks to a significant donation from disability insurance provider The Hartford, some parathletes were able to paddleboard on the Charles River Wednesday.
The company made the donation to AccesSportAmerica, an Acton-based national nonprofit that helps those living with challenges and disabilities participate in high-challenge sports.
Wayland's Marina Shelton was disabled in a riding accident when she was 12, and she never stopped loving sports.
Because of the donation, she was surprised Wednesday with a new, custom hand cycle she can use to participate in marathons.
"Giving me the hand cycle, that has boosted my confidence so much, and I will do another marathon!" she said.
Shelton also went for a whirl on the Charles River in an adaptable paddleboard, which was bought with a separate $40,000 gift to AccesSportAmerica.
That gift was used to buy more adaptive sports equipment, which was on display on the banks of the Charles in Waltham Wednesday.
Marc Fucarile, who lost a leg in the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, also tried out the paddleboard in his wheelchair.
"It's an opportunity for families with children with disabilities, and adults with disabilities, to actually partake and get active again," Fucarile said. "That was my biggest thing, being an amputee when I lost my leg in the marathon. My concerns were, what am I gonna be able to do with my son and my family? Am I just gonna sit on the sidelines and watch them enjoy things?"
WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports