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Co-workers organize fundraiser to help paralyzed colleague get van for wheelchair

Dan Swisher
Posted at 6:20 PM, May 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-20 18:20:15-04

WESTMINSTER, Md. — Twenty-four years ago, Westminster resident Dan Swisher was outside playing with his son,swinging on a rope 15 feet in the air.

The rope suddenly snapped, as did Swisher's spine when he hit the ground, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down.

But the challenges didn't stop there.

Due to health complications, he had both legs amputated. However, through it all he remained optimistic.

"It's really just a decision whether you're gonna be mad at the situation or make the best of it," Swisher said. "I like to tell folks, there is a lot of things that you can't do but focus on the thousands of things that you can still do."

Although he remains positive, Swisher's health is still a big factor.

Recently, his shoulders began to give out which resulted in him getting a power wheelchair, but that comes with a new need.

Swisher said he needs a customized van to support his power wheelchair, and that can cost about $85,000.

Unfortunately, his insurance doesn't cover it, but through fundraising Swisher's co-workers are determined to make it happen.

On May 25, from 4 pm - 7 pm, Swisher's coworkers will have a fundraising cornhole tournament at Frey's Brewing Company in hopes of him securing a customized mobility vehicle.

"Our hope is to number one bring awareness to those in need and number two to actually provide him the opportunity to have his independence back," said fundraiser organizer Jamie Penrod.

"He's always been confined to a wheelchair and he's gone through lots of health issues. This one kind of set him back which is what upset us. So, we wanted to step in and have a fundraiser to raise some money for the next chapter of his life," said Jim Blaney, Swisher's coworker.