Michigan Man Paddles the Mississippi to Inspire Others With Disabilities [VIDEO]
A double amputee from Michigan's Upper Peninsula is about halfway through his journey down the Mississippi River. Nate Denofre set out on the 2,500-mile canoe trip from Minnesota on May 8th in order to inspire others with disabilities and raise awareness for Courage Incorporated.
Denofre, with his friend Erik Conradson, founded Courage Incorporated in order to help individuals and veterans with disabilities enjoy the outdoors. Along with bringing awareness to the non-profit, Denofre hopes to raise $25,000 on his trek down the Mississippi.
Courage Incorporated takes veterans and others with disabilities hiking, camping, fishing, and canoeing free of charge.
"What one man can do, another man can do," Denofre said as he drew inspiration to make the journey. "Fear is the biggest disability there is and that's why we're called 'Courage Incorporated.'"
Fox 2 in St. Louis caught up with Denofre and his copilot wife Christa about halfway through their journey which will ultimately take them to the Gulf of Mexico.
Denofre noted that nearly two dozen veterans take their own lives each day and says that his organization tries to help veterans and those with physical disabilities, some of whom have not left the house in over a year, overcome depression.
Conradson tells WOOD-TV that the expedition is taking longer than expected, as Denofre has battled hot weather along the way. They've also connected with a lot of people along the way who they believe have drawn inspiration from their mission.
He said that many people have welcomed the Denofres into their homes along the way, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. They're grateful to those who've offered shelter, meals, and encouragement along the way.