Angela Madsen is rowing to Hawaii from Long Beach, California, but what makes the feat even more impressive is that the 54-year-old is a paraplegic and a former homeless veteran who was once told by a doctor that her "physical condition is a waste of human life."
The wheel-chair bound former Marine suffered a paralyzing spinal injury nearly 35 years ago while on active duty, leaving her with minimal movement and feeling in both her legs, The Huffington Post reported
Despite her injury, Madsen persevered and did not allow her condition to limit her in life and instead dedicated herself to mastering the art of rowing, motivating others who found themselves in similar predicaments.
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"No matter what seems to come my way in the way of challenges, God gives me the strength to overcome," the former Marine wrote on her website.
"I have grown and continued to grow stronger physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally," Madsen continued. "I have used my athletic abilities and gifts to become a strong advocate for human rights and rights of people with disabilities."
Though a launch date for the rowing voyage has yet to be set, Madsen will reportedly be accompanied on the 2,560-mile journey from California to Hawaii by fellow long-distance rower Tara Remington. Madsen will complete the journey in a 19-foot rowboat that is adorned with photos of fellow Marines.
Madsen plans to use the voyage to raise money for the charity she began — California Adaptive Rowing Programs — which provides rowing instruction and training for those with physically and intellectually challenges. The journey is expected to take two months to complete.
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