Hank Poore

Eighteen-year-old Hank Poore is headed to Colorado Friday to participate in a multi-day cycle with a friend and raise awareness for athletes with disabilities. He has cerebral palsy, a muscular condition that affects movement, muscle tone, balance, and posture. But that does not stop him from achieving his goals.

“I’m excited about this Saturday because my friend rented me a track, wheelchair, and a state park,” Hank Poore said. “I’m most excited to show people that they can do anything they want.”

Hank has been participating in marathons for five years, starting out around Tuscaloosa and then across the country.

“And then went to D.C. to the Marine Corps Marathon a few times and did the New York City Marathon last year, and in the course of these events he met lots of people,” said Hank’s mother Kathy Poore.

One of the people he met is a young woman named Helen Gardner, an avid cyclist who recently moved to Colorado. Hank is flying out to see her Friday, and together they will cycle 158 miles through a mountain pass in Crested Butte.

“I think Hank has taught us all lessons,” Kathy said. “You know that sometimes, at first glance, what you see isn’t really correct, and people look at Hank and likely never think he can cycle 158 miles, but with some creativity and some motivation, people can do anything. And I think, for all my kids and me, Hank has shown us you can push through and overcome adversity and work harder to achieve your goals.”

For this trek, Hank got a special bike – which is already waiting on him in Colorado – that he’s been training on with the help of other local cyclists. Hank said he’s doing this for fun, but also to raise awareness for athletes with disabilities, to show them they can achieve their dreams and motivate them to get out in their communities.

“I like it because I can be like everybody else, and I like the time being out in my community, and I also like the relationships I have made,” he said.

“This cycling, being part in the community, has changed his life for the better, and I think it changes the people that are around him as well,” his mother said.

You can follow along on their Facebook page “Helen & Hank’s Big Bike Adventure”.

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