Arizona man develops off-road wheelchair for wife, provides for others in need

PHOENIX - A car ride 14 years ago changed Liz and Brad Soden's life.

"Our tire blew and we went off the road. I looked over at Liz and I knew it was really bad," Brad said.

Liz broke her back and as a result was paralyzed from the waist down. While Liz was thankful to be alive, getting used to a new life in a wheelchair wasn't easy for her or her husband.

"I was on a family camping trip and I'm used to running around and doing things for everyone. But I had to watch everybody else do everything and it was really hard. Especially me being a mom for my five kids," Liz said.

The pain and tears Brad saw his wife go through inspired him to create a wheelchair that would allow Liz to do everything she used to. Without any formal training in engineering or physics Brad spent two years in his garage trying to take the typical wheelchair to an entirely new level.

"He made this speedster for me and now there is no more 'mom being way back there.' I'm up with them," Liz said.

Brad created what he calls the speedster. It's an electric wheelchair that can top speeds of 30 miles per hour and can plow through tough terrain, including rocks and mud. Brad then created a tank chair that can go through sand, snow and ice.

"We can pretty much create anything to accommodate people's needs. I created a speedster with a bumper on it for a woman who likes to show horses. I'm pretty sure she's the only person in a wheelchair who can show horses," Brad said.

"For me to just be able to drive off and not have anybody push me or anything, there are no words to explain how awesome it is," Liz said.

Brad and Liz started the Liz Soden Foundation to provide their wheelchairs to people in need, including firemen, police officers, wounded warriors, and kids. If you would like more information on how to help their organization or how to purchase one of their wheelchairs you can visit lizsodenfoundation.org .

Print this article Back to Top

Comments