Marine Staff Sgt. Andrew Robinson was paralyzed from the chest down by a roadside bomb in Iraq. Parts of his arms don't work either.
By all rights, Andrew shouldn't be here, comments CBS News correspondent Kimberly Dozier. But 2 ½ years later, his wife, Sara, at his side, he and his team are about to hand cycle 10 kilometers in the Marine Corps Marathon, just to prove they can.
"I get that," Dozier, whose legs were shattered in Iraq by a roadside bomb, intimates. "I was there to run it."
When life deals someone like this something like that, it's good to know there are folks who will fight to put his world back on track, Dozier says. That's where Homes for Our Troops comes in.
They build homes for disabled veterans. All the labor is volunteer and the materials are donated. For Robinson's project, they were joined by Heart 911, volunteers from a group of first responders from the attacks on the World Trade Center.
"What we wanted to do was just to cultivate that goodwill that we felt down at the World Trade Center - to sort of pay it forward to other people who have needs, much like Andy Robinson and his wife," William Keegan, one of the group's board of directors, said.
For three days 90 volunteers worked overtime.
"We went from just a basement, a concrete wall to a complete house," Heart 911's president, John Viola, said.
A life-changing gift for a couple whose life will never be the same.
The new home is tailored to Robinson's new life in a wheelchair. The couple now has a place to start over, to dream again, a place that gives them back the dignity of normalcy.
That independence is also a way to give back to the wife who was there when he woke, forever changed.
"I had this deep, raspy voice: 'Baby, come over here and give me a kiss,'" Andy playfully recalled the moment in the hospital.
Did Sara oblige? "Yeah, I did," she said, clutching her husband's hand.
When he realized he was paralyzed he offered her the chance to leave. "I was angry that my injury was going to affect other people," Andy said.
"I just kept encouraging him that that's not the case and, you know, we're gonna get through this together," Sara explained.
Sara became his reason to fight. "He said, 'I want to help my wife. That's my goal.' He was going to push himself, work through it."
Asked if she was surprised at her husband's grit, Sara said no. "He's a fighter."