Nathan’s hopes to get back up

Nathan Handley has packed his bags and will travel to San Diego in California next month where he will spend nearly six months at the Project Walk program. Photo: Inga Williams / The Reporter
Nathan Handley has packed his bags and will travel to San Diego in California next month where he will spend nearly six months at the Project Walk program. Photo: Inga Williams / The Reporter Inga Williams

THE dream of walking on his own unaided is one step closer for Rochedale South paraplegic Nathan Handley thanks to the generosity of others.

For the past four months, the 21-year-old has been fundraising to help cover the $30,000 fee to attend an intense physical walking therapy program in America.

Now, Mr Handley is pleased to announce he will pack his bags and travel to San Diego in California next month where he will spend nearly six months at the Project Walk program, retraining his nervous system which he damaged in a bike accident when he was 17.

"Project Walk has a waiting list but I have managed to get in to the program, starting on Monday, February 4," he said.

"I am excited about maximising my opportunity for recovery at Project Walk and can't wait to walk off the plane when I get back to Australia."

Mr Handley said in addition to the help he received from the Logan community, he also had help from the other side of the world.

"Last year I met a really nice family in America," he said.

"They were total strangers in June but have become great friends since.

"They already knew about Project Walk and were convinced of the benefits I got from participating.

"They desperately wanted to help raise funds for me so they decorated their house for Christmas and opened it up to the public.

"People were so amazingly generous and caring when they heard about my goal to walk again."

His American family managed to raise nearly $10,000 for his trip.

Mr Handley will take part in the program for five-and-a-half months, which is the maximum he can stay on a medical visa.

Mr Handley is still short of the funds needed to accompany him to America.

If you are able to help him, search for The Nathan Handley appeal on Facebook.

Topics:  paraplegic

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