Boaters with disabilities regain their lives in Galveston

GALVESTON, Texas (KTRK) -- When David Gaston is out on the water, you'd never know he can't move his legs.

"I was in a motorcycle wreck three weeks away from my 21st birthday that put me in a wheelchair," Gaston explained. "At that time, I was a commercial diver in the oil field."

Thinking he had lost everything, Gaston chose to overcome the injury and decided to try sailing. He knew he'd need help getting into the boat. And steering wasn't easy, but he kept at it almost as if he had no choice.

"Everything you've worked for, everything you've done in your life is suddenly gone," he said. "Your identity is gone, everything you've had is gone. So, you end up finding adaptive sports is the way that you're able to kind of recover an identity. Bring yourself back."

Gaston is now the adaptive sports coordinator at Sea Star Base Galveston.

And he's brought over friends like Chad Maywald, who broke his back in two places 17 years ago.

"He finally got me to start and try it out and I've been coming every week since," Maywald said. "I like to race."

Adaptive athletes like Gaston and Maywald use the same courses and the same boats as more traditional athletes.

"I'm actually able to race against other competitors who have no disabilities and be competitive against them," said Gaston.

The program is open to all ages and abilities.

You can find out how to get involved by visiting the Sea Star Base website.

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