Man overcomes paralysis to ride for spinal cord research

Posted: Updated:

TUCSON, Ariz. -- He used to ride for accolades, but now former professional motocross rider Jimmy Button is back on a bike to raise money for spinal cord research.

Jimmy Button lived for the race.

"Eleven seasons racing professionally, supercross and motocross and I got to travel the world," said Button.

Then, one day, Jimmy was practicing for a race when he took a terrible spill.

"I just happened to catch my head the wrong way and pinch my spinal cord and it caused me instant Paralysis from the neck down," said Button.

"The doctor came out and said, 'He has a spinal cord injury and it's a two to five year recovery but I don't think he'll recover,'" said Jimmy's mother Anita Button.

For two months, there was no movement.  Jimmy says he refused to believe he would spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

"I just happened to be staring at my fingers for a number of hours one day and one of my fingers started to work," said Jimmy.

A year later, Jimmy would be walking on his own.

Eleven years later he would embark on a cross-country ride to raise money for spinal cord research.

The miles for miracles tour started in San Diego and will end about 2500 miles later, in Daytona.

Jimmy's invited some friends for the inaugural ride, including his trainer.

"For him it's going to be keeping regulation of his temperature because he can't really feel his temperature from his chest down and to keep him hydrated," said Jimmy's trainer Cory Worf.

Jimmy says he knows riders all over the globe who have suffered the same injury.  Monday he will get back on his bike, for them.

"I just want to do what I can with the second opportunity I have to help make a change for those guys," said Button.

Contributions can be made at milesformiraclestoday.com.

The money will go to the Reeve-Irvine Research Center in Irvine, California.