To raise awareness for disability issues currently in front of the State Legislature, Mikail Davenport, 58, a polio and cancer survivor, has been cycling for 25 days straight, towing his wheelchair from El Paso to Beaumont, a distance of 950 miles. On March 27, Davenport pedaled his way to UTMB where he received a warm welcome and a tour of the hospital where he received his treatment for polio some 50 years ago.
As a child, he recovered from polio. But at age 40, his legs gave out during tai chi as post-polio syndrome set in. Using a hand bike, Davenport is cycling across Texas for himself and for all others living their lives with physical disabilities.
Davenport received treatment as a child from Dr. G.W.N. Eggers, who at the time was division chief for orthopaedic surgery at UTMB. He was the first chief of the then-new division, and also served as the first professor of orthopaedic surgery at the hospital.
When he pedaled around the circle in front of John Sealy Hospital, Davenport was greeted by several members of the UTMB community, there to cheer him on and welcome him back.
"It was wonderful," Davenport said. "It was the same kind of treatment I got here 50 years ago-people love you and care about you."