Foster Andersen

First post: Mar 27, 2022 Latest post: Aug 27, 2022
Foster’s incredible adventure began when, at seventeen, during the summer between his junior and senior years of high school, life as he knew it ended.

An active and athletic youth, Foster was riding his motorcycle—his source of freedom and independence—in the Western New York woods where he often journeyed to commune with nature. When he awoke in the hospital, unable to move, it had been two weeks since the accident. He’d been in a coma. For six seconds, he’d touched death when his heart stopped beating. He vividly recalls the out-of-body experience.

But Foster was far from done with the world. Seven months later, he left the hospital. First priority? “I wanted to get outdoors again. I wanted to get unstuck.”

He wouldn’t be able to walk, but he would go on to bungee jump out of a hot air balloon. Not to mention scuba dive, surf, chair-ski, sail, follow the Grateful Dead, drive across the country in a van with a parrot, attend engineering school, invent and get a patent for a Frisbee for quadriplegics, the Quad-Bee… An inventor and an innovator, Foster’s adventures were far from over—they were beginning… just in a very different way than he ever could have imagined.

Living adventurous to the max, Foster’s calling became to Share the Adventure with others in the disabled community.

“So many people say, ‘You can’t do that,’” Foster says. “My mom told me, ‘There’s no such thing as can’t.’ When I started doing things she didn’t want me to, I’d tell her, ‘Remember what you said… Whether it’s people born with a disability or people like me, there is life after challenge.”

Foster helped co-found Shared Adventures with a sit-ski program in 1985, in Rochester, NY. Now, Foster has been running the Shared Adventures program in Santa Cruz for 30 years.