My journey back to racing
My name is Darren Kauffman and I'm 30 years old from Waynesboro, PA. I'm a T9 paraplegic from a car accident that happened in March of 2007. It was a single car accident that broke my back, 9 ribs, collar bone, and wrist.
Prior to my accident, I was big into inline speed skating. Since the age of 6 all I wanted to do was go fast. At age 9, they signed me up to race and by the age of 16 I achieved a lifetime dream and became a Jr. World Champion in 2004. Having realized my dream of being a world champion and racking up over 20 national medals, I decided at 19 I was ready to move on to my next adventure and start driving race cars.
Unfortunitly before I was able to compete in my first race I had my car accident and found myself paralyzed and asking what was next? Thinking that dream had passed, I was coming to terms that I was going to be a spectator the rest of my life. Two years later I met someone who would change all of that. While my family was still involved in racing, they met a fellow racer who was also paralyzed and began to ask questions about what we would have to do to modify a car for me. Shortly after that I was lucky enough to get a chance in my brother in laws car for 2 weeks. I was in love instantly. It took me right back to the speed and thrill of competition.
The following year my dad purchased a car of our own to race and so began our journey. We have been racing almost 6 years now and have ups and downs as anyone else would. There have been very few times that we felt at a disadvantage having to use hand controls to race but like anything, sometimes we just can't avoid it. I love being involved in a sport that paraplegics and able body racers compete on the same level. I have won a few heat races but yet to find victory in the feature event but we will keep at it till we get there!
I have a lot of great partners that help me do what I do but the one in our industry I'd like to thank is Colours Wheelchairs. We partnered up about 5 years ago and I can't thank them enough for making chairs durable to hold up over the years and can handle the dirt, mud, stones that I put it through.
For more information you can find me at the following places:
Twitter: @KauffmanRacing @DarrenK87