Games Athlete and Paralympian Patrick McDonald is Not Afraid of Pink

Paralympian Patrick McDonald’s pink ride is part of his efforts to raise awareness about breast cancer.
National Veterans Wheelchair Games competitor Patrick McDonald spends time with his son Kaelan and daughter Andi. McDonald is using a pink wheelchair to raise awareness of the fight against breast cancer.
spinal cord injury won’t keep paralympian Patrick McDonald from a good fight—especially when lives are on the line. He showed up at the 31st National Veterans Wheelchair Games in a wheelchair sporting his battle color: pink.

“The main reason is, I know a handful of people who fought breast cancer and survived it,” he said. “Real men shouldn’t be afraid of pink.”

The 44-year-old made his Paralympics debut at the 30th Games in Vancouver. He just missed medaling in wheelchair curling, although he’s taken gold at other events. He’s attended the Veterans Wheelchair Games on and off since ’92.

“I’ve been wearing pink for about a year now,” McDonald said.

McDonald has been rated as the top wheelchair golfer in the world. He has a 1.5 USGA handicap and holds the record for the longest drive at 358 yards. And he’s lent his growing star power to celebrity golf events and black-tie dinners to help raise about $100,000 for various organizations, including those dedicated to finding a cure for breast cancer.

“I think raising money for a good cause is what people have to do,” he said.

“Women are our mothers and are sacred,” he said. “They should not have to live through (breast cancer). Family and mother are very important to me.” 

The Army veteran lives in California with his wife, Carrie, daughter Andrea (“Andi”), 9, and son Kaelan, 5. McDonald not only finds time for training for summer and winter Paralympics sports, golfing, hunting and visiting Shriners Hospitals for Children and fellow veterans at Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals, he also enjoys going to his children’s schools for Veterans Day and Read Across America events, a National Education Association initiative.

“You only get one chance at life, and you’ve got to run with it,” he said.

McDonald said his grandfather unknowingly prepared him for a life of success and giving after his 1991 service-connected injury.

“My grandfather lost his leg in World War II,” he said. “Missing a leg must have been hard on him, but he was so full of life.”

Patrick McCallister is a reporter in Florida and frequent contributor to PN Magazine.


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    Games Athlete and Paralympian Patrick McDonald is Not Afraid of Pink