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Injured veteran to row from California to Hawaii

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POSTED May 20, 2014 6:33 p.m.

LONG BEACH (AP) — A paraplegic Marine Corps veteran is gearing up to row more than 2,500 miles across the Pacific Ocean from California to Hawaii.

Angela Madsen hopes to begin her journey from Long Beach, California, to Honolulu on Tuesday, weather permitting.

Madsen hopes her odyssey in a 19-foot ocean rower will help to raise money for boats configured for people with disabilities, KITV-TV reported.

She also wants to inspire other injured veterans.

“Our guys need to know their lives are going to be OK, and they need to crank it up and find another gear and kind of move positively forward,” she said.

Madsen said she was hurt while in the Marine Corps and became paraplegic because of serious mistakes during spinal surgery.

She and New Zealand distance rower Tara Remington will attempt the 50- to 60-day voyage without a support vessel. Madsen has made previous rowing trips across the Indian Ocean, around the British Isles and twice across the Atlantic. She also won the bronze medal for shot put in the 2012 Paralympics.

Rowing, she said, is a venue where partially paralyzed people can excel.

“You get out of your chair and just get on a boat and nobody knows the difference between you and anybody else out here,” Madsen said.

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