Twice Paralyzed Man Concludes 2,100 Mile Ride For A Cause

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A man, paralyzed two times, concluded a 2,100 mile ride in South Florida.

Tom Smith, from Massachusetts, rolled into the The Miami Project research facility in Miami on Friday, concluding his ride as family, friends and supporters greeted him with cheers and hugs.

“This is beyond humbling,” said Smith.

Smith finished the ride meant to raise over $100,000 for research in the project at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

But it’s not the first time Smith has crossed paths with the university.

Smith, is a former patient of University of Miami Neurosurgeon and Miami to Cure Paralysis Founder Dr. Barth Green who was also there to greet him on Friday.

Smith was twice paralyzed while playing hockey.

“When I had my accident in 2008. I had my dream of being a collegiate hockey player ripped away from me,” said Smith referring to his first accident . “It was Doctor Green, the Buonicontis and the Miami Project team that gave me my life back.”

Once he recovered from both accidents, he decided he wanted to give back to the community through the ride called the Reality Ride Challenge.

“We need to give other people with paralysis the same opportunity that I’ve been given,” said Smith.

As part of the ride, Smith rode from Boston to Miami starting on March 25th and ending Friday, May 1st.

The ride consisted of a 65 mile ride on a bicycle, 2 miles in a sitting wheelchair bike and one mile walking.

“His story is incredible. Not only was he paralyzed once, but paralyzed twice and still walking to this day. That’s because he has fight and he has drive and the best luck I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Miami Project President Marc Buoniconti.

Click here for more information on The Miami Project.

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