Volunteer Spirit: Eskimo Escapdes funds adaptive equipment and sports

DOWNTOWN KNOXVILLE, Tenn (WVLT) -- Matthew Porterfield is quite the sport.

"I have done scuba diving, tower climbing, rock climbing, snow skiing, golf, but prefer wheelchair racing and wake boarding, he says."

Edee Vaughan is quite active as well, "Mainly water skiing, snow skiing and handcycling."

Nothing holds either of them back.
Edee was born with a birth defect called Spina Bifida and walks differently.

Matthew is paralyezd, chest down from a dirt bike accident in 1998.

He says, "It's more of an attitude thing. You take it one day at a time and you realize you can do more stuff, so you go on and do it."

That attitude comes from the Patricia Neal Center's IRC, Innovative Recreation Cooperative.
Founded by Al Kaye.

He says, "Our concept is, we try to teach individuals new set skills so they can go on and get back to normal life patterns."

IRC hosts events like snow skiing and water skiing, as in the Eskimo Escapades.

It also provides adaptive equipment like Matthew's $5,000 racing chair, and Edee's gear: her bike and skis.

The IRC started in 1994, and for about 20 years now, it has helped around 7,000 people get back to an active lifestyle.

And both Matthew and Edee have big goals set for this year with their bikes.

Matthew says "They have World Games at the Para Olympics. I will try out for it in track."

Edee says, I already did the Knoxville 1/2 marathon, I'm hoping to do the full marathon this year! "

Eskimo Escapades not only benefits the Patricia Neal IRC, but also
The Dream Connection and the Adventure Amputee Camp.

So, if you want to ski, tube wake board Saturday, January 19,2013, or just watch "those" brave souls,
head to Volunteer Landing tomorrow from 10-3pm.

They have all the equipment and even wetsuits if you want to participate, it's a $30 donation.

Matthew will be there wake boarding! He is also an organizer of this event.

Edee will be there as a volunteer.

The IRC's next event: Snow skiing at Beech Mountain next weekend.

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station. powered by Disqus