Paralyzed Surfers

By: CNN
By: CNN

When the tide rolled in this weekend in North Carolina, the "Life Rolls On" foundation made an ocean of dreams come true as volunteers helped people with spinal injuries hit the waves.

Sara Jenkins is getting pumped or rather charged to hit the water. Without a device to stimulate her spine, she can't move from the neck down.

But watching her, it seems hard to believe.

"Either you're an amazing actress and deserve an academy award or you have this strange rare condition," Jenkins said.

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy is a rare neurological disorder, but thanks to the organization "Life Rolls On" today she's crossing one wish off her bucket list - getting back to the beach and getting into the water.

"This event shows you that you don't have to have legs to be normal," said Jenkins.

Normally, Wrightsville Beach is packed with beach chairs, but on this day it's packed with wheel chairs. Each person waiting their turn has a spinal injury, some completely paralyzed.

Life Rolls On director, Kevin Murphy, said, "If you're a quadriplegic and you fall off, you're at the mercy of all the volunteers so the courage is unbelievable. They've been through so much already, they're definitely not going to let the size of a wave hold them back."

Holding them up and cheering them on are 200 volunteers.

"[It] just reminds you of how little you are and how much respect you need to give back," said Murphy.

In the waves, it doesn't matter if you walk on two or on four. Sara hasn't had her legs since 12, and she was bedridden at 25 after a wheel chair accident.

"At that time I was the strongest I had ever been," she said. "I was working towards my goal of walking on the beach with my crutches."

Two years later, she's finally heading back to the water, and for a few minutes Sara moves without crutches.

For a few rides, Sara insn't suffering from anything. For a few waves, Sara is a surfer.


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