ATLANTIC BEACH - Paul Kelly was a young man when a pool accident left him paralyzed. It has been more than 35 years since that accident, and Kelly has found a way to help him cope with his disability and be an inspiration for others.
Kelly is a marathon runner. Or rather, he does marathons on a crank bike. Kelly's condition left him without the use of his legs and only partial use of his arms. A custom bike allows him to workout at speeds up to 30 miles per hour.
"It's been a life changing experience for me," Kelly said. "Well, I've always thought that taking part in a marathon would be something I would want to do, something that would be a challenge, something that would be a physical accomplishment."
Accomplishment is right, Kelly has completed 63 full and half marathons in his 7 years on the road. However, he didn't pedal those miles, or train so hard, only for himself.
"When I started my hand cycling and taking part in marathons, I thought my accomplishments should be something that benefits others," said Kelly.
During his marathon attempts, Kelly has $54,000 for Hope For The Warriors, a non-profit organization which benefits wounded veterans and their families.
Kelly plans to run the Run For The Warriors half marathon in Jacksonville on May 18th.
To donate to Kelly's cause, visit his blog: http://www.active.com/donate/2008Miles
Follow Kelly's journeys: http://2008milesofhope.blogspot.com
Information on Hope For The Warriors: http://HopeForTheWarriors.org