happening peoplearchive

Mark Hansen

Since he moved to Eugene in 1979, Winston native Mark Hansen has become an enthusiast for wheelchair sports and a valued supporter of Mobility International USA. "I played rugby in Eugene from '92 to '97," he notes. "There's no Eugene team any more, so I go to Sunday practices in Salem." Hansen still plays and coaches rugby during the six months he spends with his sister in Tucson He makes a circuit of tennis tournaments and coaches an promising young player in Eugene. MIUSA was founded in 1981 -- Hansen served on its board of directors from 1985 to 2000. For 20 years he has played host to a multitude of foreign visitors, including guests from Cambodia and Kyrgyztan currently here for the Women's Institute on Leadership and Disability. A few days ago, Hanson invited 25 friends to a "wrenching" BBQ -- a work party to assemble wheelchairs from a pile of parts and garage-sale finds. Twenty newly rebuilt chairs will be sent off with visitors from third world countries. "A lot of people are happy to bring a wheelchair back with them," says Hanson, who began restoring chairs in 2001. "It can be checked on the airline as baggage."

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 2 October 2003

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