Mario Bonfante, Jr. was an up and coming professional motorcycle racer as a teenager. Though he has had many setbacks, he still aspires to the same goals.
He claims to be good at adapting.
On September 15, 2006, when he was 17, he broke his neck in a BMX accident at Christmas Hill Park. He narrowly missed his goal of being a motorcycle racing star and became a C5 and a C6 quadriplegic paralyzed from the chest down with no use of his legs and hands.
He said it was a humbling experience.
Bonfante, now 22 years old, has grown stronger each day of the five years that have passed.
This is a dream come true for him. He is confined to a wheel chair.
Bonfante said, “The only boundaries we are confined by are the ones we create in our minds.”
Bonfate rebuilt his 1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse, custom designing it to his driving specifications.
Bonfante’s self motivation has seen him through the entire experience. He related that he just wanted to show people that he could do it.
Bonfante designed and developed a steering mechanism tailored to his specifications. He steers with one hand and gives gas and brakes with the other.
He will drive February 14 or February 24th of 2012 at Laguna Seca in Salinas. He may race again March 10, 2012.
Bonfante says he thanks those who have helped him and God.
Bonfante had to go through rehabilitation and physical therapy. He said he never stopped to question how blessed he was when he was racing when he was able bodied. He considers the whole experience a lesson.
He believes that you have to keep moving forward through any challenge.
Once he crosses the finish line of that race he says he will have “…an ear to ear grin.”
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Source: The Gilroy Dispatch