Teacher Will Push Paralyzed Alum In Wheelchair In NYC Marathon


Mikey Nichols, 23, broke his neck while playing ice hockey for Monroe High School in New Jersey and was paralyzed from the neck down. But this weekend, he’s competing in the New York City Marathon with some help from a teacher at his former school.

English teacher Joe Rooney, 33, will be pushing Nichols for the entire 26.2-mile race in a special aerodynamic three-wheeler called a Hoyt racer. Rooney never actually taught him, but they became friends when Nichols was a student there and when he regained strength after his injury, they decided to tackle the marathon together. They’re competing in the duo-team category and their goal is to raise $30,000 for the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.

“Nichols has been presented with circumstances that might make people want to quit, but if anything that’s been fuel for him to succeed,” Rooney says. “It’s been fuel for him to be a voice — not just in the paralysis community, but a voice of someone who gives other people hope.”

Source: New York Post