Paralysed man takes part in balloon fundraiser

A man who was paralysed from the waist down at the age of 21 years old recently used his hot air balloon to raise money for a good cause.

Michael Glen planned to take part in the event for Family Care Foundation, a non-profit organisation that provides support, equipment and medical care to people in the Amarillo and Texas Panhandle areas of the US. Although he was unable to fly his hot air balloon due to windy conditions, he did fire up a burner.

Glen was the first paraplegic to gain his pilot licence, which he achieved in 2006, and he has been flying balloons ever since. As a child he was familiar with hot air balloons as his father, Bill Glen, was a balloon pilot. Michael, now 40 years of age, planned to go up in his balloon alongside his father, who gained his pilot licence in 1974. The Up in the Air For Family Care Balloon Rally was held in October, although the windy conditions meant that the balloons couldn’t take off as planned. However, children and spectators still enjoyed being around the balloons, especially those that are a little bit different. Glen’s balloon resembles a giant bumblebee, while his father’s balloon is called “Heaven’s Quilt”.

Glen states that he is a keen supporter of the foundation, as he understands what it is like to grow up disabled and the foundation can provide all sorts of help for families struggling to cope. He adds that he didn’t become a pilot to be the first paraplegic to do so, but just to enjoy the experience.

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