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 saw him handcycle from Stettler to Red Deer.
“It was phenomenal,” he said of the incredible day. “And the weather was unbelievable! Out of the five-hour trip, I think it poured rain for three and three-quarters of an hour. But that didn’t slow us down – we were soaking wet, but we had a blast!
“It was really fun.” Originally, he had a goal of raising $2,500 but as of early this week the amount raised stood at more than $5,000 – an counting. “I think that is unreal.
“I just can’t believe the support – I work as an auctioneer as well, so I have done lots of fundraisers for people in the past. And I have always found that the Stettler community is just unbelievably supportive. It’s almost like I want to re-do the event because it was so much fun.
”They have inspired me to move forward, and to not let a challenge stop me,” he added of Spinal Cord Injuray Alberta. “So that’s why I’m inspired to raise money for the organization.”
To prep for last weekend’s fundraiser, Douglas had been 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.
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.
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 made a difference in his life is by helping to build his confidence in pursuing his dream job.
“They helped give me the confidence and motivation to pursue my career goal,” he said. “Since I was five years old, (auctioneering) 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.
“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’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. He also said that anyone interested in reaching out to him for fundraising assistance can feel free to do so.
“I love to help out where I can, to make everyone’s lives better!”