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Amputee to compete in 180-mile cycling race

By Joshua Berlinger, CNN
updated 12:54 PM EDT, Thu June 12, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Patrick Brown lost part of his right leg in a sky diving accident almost five years ago
  • He plans to compete in the 180-mile Trek Across Maine starting June 13
  • He has even gone back to sky diving since the accident

(CNN) -- Patrick Brown is an avid outdoorsman and adventurer, a former sky diving instructor with over 1,000 jumps under his belt.

But about five years ago, he went for a jump in less than ideal conditions and lost part of his right leg.

The 26-year-old Maine native refused to let his whole world crash down after the accident. Six months later, he was walking. Not long after, he started skiing, fishing and cycling. He's even braved sky diving again.

"I'm not one to dwell on the negative," Brown told CNN. "I'm a motivated person."

Brown will put that motivation to the test on Friday. He's racing in the Trek Across Maine, a 180-mile, three-day cycling competition across the state. Proceeds from the race benefit the American Lung Association, according to the trek's website.

His longest ride so far was just 30 miles, but he's embracing this new challenge with open arms, eating healthy food and riding more frequently to prepare for the race.

"I'm definitely excited," he said. "It'll be cool to go that distance."

Brown did not ride very often before the accident, but with the help of a custom prosthesis built by his doctor at the Hanger Clinic, Brown says he's been able to truly embrace the sport.

While he jokes that he just doesn't want to finish last, Brown has a bigger goal at hand -- he wants to set an example for other amputees who feel limited by their injuries.

"I'm hoping that potentially somebody sitting on the couch in a similar situation that may be injured might see the story and hopefully think they can do it," Brown said. "Whatever their passion could be, life's not over because you lost a limb."

Helping amputee athletes get back on track

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