Stettler’s Scott Douglas has an amazing attitude about pretty much everything in life.
Even his biggest challenge – living as a paraplegic since 2004 because of a snowmobiling accident – has done virtually nothing to get in the way of him achieving his goals and living each day with joy and gratitude.
“I have been in a chair since then, and I have loved my life with a passion,” he explained, adding he was just 18 at the time of the accident. He’s called Stettler home since 2006.
“And the reason I’m raising money for Spinal Cord Injury Alberta is that they have been such a motivating factor in my own life over the years,” he said, referring to the June 5th fundraiser which will see him handcycle from Stettler to Red Deer. He heads out at 8 a.m.
“They have inspired me to move forward, and to not let a challenge stop me. So that’s why I’m inspired to raise money for the organization.”
In the meantime, he’s been busy gearing up for the event by handcycling around the region. “Usually, I go down Highway 56 sometimes halfway to Big Valley. I also go to Erskine and then north to (Buffalo) lake,” he explained.
“So far this spring, I’ve put on 285 km,” he said. “I peddle with my arms – it’s a three-wheel bike – a really cool looking thing.”
Douglas has a Go Fund Me page set up to receive donations at https://ca.gofundme.com/f/23mi4m0wc0
He also has a Facebook page titled ‘Trip from Stettler to Red Deer on my Handcycle’ where anyone interested can find out more about the fundraising event and other ways to support him as well.
And even well beyond June 5th, folks are certainly welcome to still donate to the cause.
“I have also taken donations by either cash or cheque which go directly to Spinal Cord Injury Alberta,” he said.
He can’t emphasize enough the profound difference the organization has made in his life.
“When I was first injured, they helped me pay for my first wheelchair as I was getting everything set up – they gave me $6,000 to buy the new chair. So I also volunteer with them at golf tournaments every year to help to give back,” he explained.
“I’ve also heard some phenomenal speakers through them, and heard about how to live through challenging times,” he said, adding he’s also starting to share his own story of resilience and hope more often, too.
He’s spoken at schools and church organizations among other groups, but of course with the pandemic those meetings have been put on hold. But he’s looking forward to starting it up again with the goal of helping others in their own personal journeys.
Another way that Spinal C0rd Injury Alberta really made a difference in his life is by helping to build his confidence in pursuing his dream job.
“I work as an auctioneer, and they helped give me the confidence and motivation to pursue my career goal,” he said. “Since I was five years old it was my dream, and then with the accident, I thought how am I going to pursue this? But I did it anyhow, and it’s the best thing I have ever done,” he said.
His job takes him across Central Alberta, and he loves the opportunity of always meeting new folks.
“I love the feeling of getting up on the stand and doing the auctioneering thing,” he said. “I also love meeting new friends and just making life phenomenal by having fun with everybody!”
Douglas also finds great fulfillment in lending a helping hand to others who find themselves facing similar obstacles in life.
“Once in a while, I go and visit newly-injured people in the hospital. It’s always inspiring to me, because I always tell them that life is a choice and it’s simply up to me to choose how I am going to live my life,” he said.
“I also tell them that if we want to see our goals being accomplished, it’s up to us to do that. And there are always ways to make life happen.
“I’ve always been impressed with the thought of never giving up because life has so many huge beneficial results when I put my all into it. I just live by ‘never give up’.
“I know that people have challenges sometimes, but I don’t even consider myself as having challenges because I’ve accepted it, and I love my life so much. I always live with determination to pursue any goals in life, and to make anything happen.”
Looking ahead, Douglas is planning to fundraise more in the coming months for Spinal Cord Injury Alberta, including in Starland County this summer. Watch his Facebook page for more details.