Two men aren’t letting their physical disabilities stop them from ‘Paddling to Persevere’ down the entire Mississippi River

BROWNSVILLE, Minn. (WKBT) – Two men are taking on a 2,500-mile journey to raise awareness and funds for people with physical disabilities.

Nate Denofre and Don Jokinen are ‘Paddling to Persevere’ down the entire Mississippi River.

Denofre is a double leg amputee and Jokinen served in the Army in Iraq and is a combat-disabled Veteran.

With friends and family, they started from Lake Itasca and made a stop at Wildcat Park in Minnesota on Tuesday.

Their goal is to inspire and show others with disabilities that it doesn’t have to hold them back from taking on a new adventure.

Denofre says this is the hardest thing he’s ever done, but as they travel down the river they’re seeing more and more support for what they’re undertaking.

“The people are very supportive of what we’re doing, and if it wasn’t for them I don’t think we would be this far, if at all,” Denofre said.

They are 53 days into the trip and hope to make it to the Gulf Coast by August.

But they are taking their time, stopping along the way to tell their story.

More information about their trip can be found on paddlingtopersevere.org, or by checking out their Facebook page, Paddling to Persevere.

They also have a GPS tracker logging their progress. To view it, click here.

Denofre is the founder of Courage Incorporated, an organization that provides outdoor trips to individuals and veterans with physical disabilities.

He says the only cost to join is the courage to try something you thought you couldn’t do anymore.

“THE ONLY DISABILITY IS THE ONE IN WHICH YOU TELL YOURSELF YOU CANNOT ACCOMPLISH SOMETHING.”

— Nathan Denofre ~ Courage Incorporated Founder

 

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