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Canoeists raise money for spinal research

By Julie Bierach, KWMU

ST. LOUIS, MO – On the levee at the entrance to the Arch, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay met with three canoeists from the United Kingdom Friday.

Dan Burton, Stu Mackinnon and Dan Hopwood are canoeing the 2, 341 miles of the Mississippi River from Lake Itasca, Minnesota to New Orleans, Louisiana. They're trying to raise awareness about and raise money for Spinal Research.

One of the men, Dan Hopwood is paralyzed from the chest down as a result of a motor cycle accident. Speaking by cell phone on the river, Dan Burton said they hope that will motivate others with similar injuries.

"We're trying to give inspiration to all the people who have spinal injuries themselves. They don't necessarily have to stay inside and watch TV all day. They can go outside and experience life just the same as everyone else," Hopwood said.

The childhood friends have been canoeing for 36 days and expect to reach New Orleans in about a month.

So far, they've raised $14,000 and hope to raise $40,000 by the time they arrive in New Orleans in about a month.


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