NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It was a beautiful beach day for a group of people who normally don’t get to experience the ocean.

It’s all thanks to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, which was down the Jersey Shore expanding access and awareness on Friday, reports CBS2’s Meg Baker.

The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation took disabled individuals out to the Jersey Shore for a day at the beach. (Credit: CBS2)

“New Jersey beaches are wonderful,” said Patricia Fonselius of Long Branch. “I’m so glad to be back on one!”

“We have over 150 volunteers here and 40 people going back into the water – many for the first time since injury and it’s just breathtaking,” said Peter Wilderotter, president of the Foundation.

Friday’s event celebrates progress in beach accessibility. Special mats were added to three beaches in Asbury Park, creating a solid base to roll on.

Scott Chesney suffered a stroke at the age of 15 that left him paralyzed.

“When you create accessibility like this is that you give peace of mind,” said Chesney. “Rather than my having to worry where is bathroom, how am I going to get on the beach, or how am I going to get in the ocean, now you’ve taken care of all of that.”

Fonselius grew up down the shore.

“To be able to get back to the life I had before I got sick,” she said.

She says being at the ocean again gives her joy, and she hopes more towns follow suit.


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