Iconic Pittsburgh cyclist Danny Chew was involved in a bike accident on Sunday in Ohio that has caused him to be paralyzed from the waist down. Chew is also known as the Million Mile Man, as he had set a goal in childhood to ride a million miles in his life on a bike.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 54-year-old Chew was riding with his friend Cassie Schumacher near Lodi, Ohio when he suffered a dizzy spell, veered off the road into a ditch and crashed.
Breaking his neck, Chew was conscious after the crash but could not feel anything from the waist down. Doctors noted that he damaged his C7 and T1 vertebras. He had surgery on Sunday evening and has been under heavy sedation since, with doctors stating his body needs rest before they can determine what his prognosis is.
Chew is about 800,000 miles into his 1,000,000 mile goal at this point. He is also noted for having co-founded Pittsburgh’s Dirty Dozen race, which is a race up 13 of the city’s steepest hills and includes a cobblestone one with a 37-percent grade. He is also a two-time winner of the Race Across America and once rode his bike across the continent in 8 days, 7 hours and 14 minutes.
Since he regularly does thousand-mile weeks, Chew lives hand-to-mouth and gets by with odd jobs that are mostly bicycle-related. So his nephew Steven Perezluha has set-up a You Caring fundraiser to help pay for Chew’s medical bills.
Schumacher also told the Post-Gazette that Chew was still himself immediately after the incident: “‘Well,’ she said he told her, ‘worst case scenario, I’m going to have to be like the guy who just set a record in Pittsburgh on a hand cycle. I’ll just have to finish my million miles on a hand cycle. So be it.'”
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