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Veteran Designs "Tankchair" For Paralyzed Wife So She Can Hike With Her Family

Liz Soden/Facebook

They say for better or for worse and in sickness and in health, but how many couples do you know take those words to heart, especially if they're not married?

While it's easy to fall out of love with a partner, those who can stand the test of time, no matter what life throws their way, are the type of relationships we can only hope to be in one day.

Nearly 19 years ago, Brad and Liz Soden were involved in a car crash that left the latter paralyzed from the waist down and petrified that her partner would leave her.

But, instead of turning his back on his beloved, Brad tied the knot with Liz three months later, and then got to work on building his wife the perfect wheelchair.

Although the father-of-five didn't have a college degree or engineer training, he decided to buckle down and go to work after he heard his wife tear up about her newfound limitations.

Before the incident, the family often went hiking and camping together, so Brad needed a way to adapt a wheelchair to those activities. His solution: the "Tankchair," which can travel off-road and powerful enough to comfortably move on hiking trails in any type of weather.

"It made it where I could go out and go hiking and camping,'' Liz said in an interview with Matt Lauer on Today. "When we went to the snow, I would sit in the car. Now I can get out, and I can chase my kids around, and I can go with them. Just the hiking and getting out — I'm not a prisoner anymore in the car and in the house."

Since Brad, a former combat veteran, plumber, and volunteer firefighter, perfected the design in 2005, he made engineering the Tankchairs his full time job, and hopes to be able to provide more of his creations to other "wounded warriors" and allow them to have better mobility.

While the chair, which can travel up to 30 miles per hour and costs between $12,000 to $15,000, is still classified as a recreational vehicles and isn't covered by insurance, the devoted husband has approached veteran associations in an effort to provide Tankchairs free of charge.

“Money does not drive me,” Brad told Bloomberg. “It’s all about the smiles on people’s faces and all the families I’ve helped.”

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[H/T: Today, NTD Television]

Maya has been working at Shared for a year. She just begrudgingly spent $200 on a gym membership. Contact her at maya@shared.com