Oct. 29: A Paralyzed Man’s Impossible Dream

In 2007, Mark Stephan was a successful businessman, an avid marathoner, and a two-time Iron Man triathlete when a bicycle accident left him a quadriplegic, unable to use his arms and legs.  Doctors told him he would never walk or bike again.   Stephan, however, had other ideas.

His extraordinary determination combined with nearly five months of therapy at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) led Stephan to leave the hospital walking by himself.  He walked slowly and haltingly, but he walked nonetheless.

Stephan continued intensive therapy, worked with personal trainers, and volunteered for experimental procedures.  In December 2009, over the course of two hours and 14 minutes, he climbed the 103 floors of what was then the tallest building in North America, Chicago’s Willis Tower, as a fundraiser for RIC.

Then on April 15, 2012, Stephan embarked on another fundraiser for RIC—this one a 3,129-mile ride across the United States in a specially-designed bike.  Once again, he was successful at overcoming the odds, and is glad to have done his part to help RIC find a cure for people with spinal cord injuries.

Happy are those who persevere.  (Daniel 12:12)

Lord, help me to persevere despite difficulties.

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