Rick Hansen inspired by meeting refugee who lost fingers in cross-border walk
'His attitude is powerful,' disability advocate says of Seidu Mohammed
Rick Hansen's "Man in Motion World Tour" ended 30 years ago this year, but he's still inspiring people.
Yesterday in Winnipeg, Ghanaian asylum seeker Seidu Mohammed met the man he calls his hero.
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"I'm so emotional and very happy that I saw someone who is my role model... thank you for letting me meeting you," Mohammed said after the meeting.
But Hansen said he's the one who's inspired.
"His attitude is powerful and strong, positive, seeing not disability but ability," Hansen said. "Anyone who is able to turn things from tragedy to triumph and show ability, that's the kind of person I want to encourage and I'm thrilled to be here and I'm honoured to meet you Seidu. Thank you so much."
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CBC News told Hansen's foundation about Mohammed and his nearly fatal walk and a meeting was arranged.
Hansen, who was paralyzed from the waist down after an accident at age 15, took a two-year wheelchair trip around the world beginning in 1985 to raise awareness and money for spinal cord research and other disability issues.
Mohammed is one of hundreds of asylum seekers who have walked across the international border in recent months.
His refugee board hearing takes place next week.
He'll have to convince a board member his sexual orientation puts him in danger if he returns to Ghana.
- An earlier version indicated that Mohammed lost toes.Mar 16, 2017 11:26 PM CT
With files from Karen Pauls