Inspiration leads to dreams, dreams create ideas. Ideas when placed in the right minds, can lead to action. Positive action. Its true nothing is ever achieved without first dreaming about it, having a vision.
It took a while for me to really pay attention to what Dan and Judy were doing with Accessible Wilderness Society. I saw the logo, even heard Judy talk a bit about it. But, I don't think I really heard her. Not for a while. Be it due to my own mind roaring a mile a minute with crazy ideas, a newborn baby... whatever it was. I was not listening. (I'm a woark in progress) Bryce came in one day, and said "did you know what Judy and her husband are doing?!". My mind was blown. The next time I saw Judy, I wanted to hear more, everything. Then, naturally having caught her enthusiasm for a project they were clearly passionate about, I was instantly on board with ideas and visions of my own.
Dan is the founder and president of the Accessible Wilderness Society. Dan was injured in a motor vehicle incident in 1985. It was at that time, during his initial stay in rehabilitation that he decided that one day he wanted to help make the outdoors and wilderness more accessible to people with varying degrees of disability, primarily those with mobility challenges. In Judy's words "Dan had heard a Dad, paralysed from the neck down, telling his two little boys and wife to sell the truck, sell the boat. We won't be doing that anymore. They all were crying, and so was Dan, and it was then he got mad and said, "This is so wrong! There has to be a way for a Dad to take his boys fishing even if he happens to be in a chair!" Then the planning began."
With the help and fierce determination of his wife Judy, they are working tirelessly on getting their dreams to become reality. It truly is inspiring to know... that, not only are they close, they are REALLY CLOSE. They are in the process of obtaining the funds, the land and are in the beginning stages of getting their first resort built right here in Beautiful British Columbia. Their vision is that "All people regardless of their physical challenges should be able to enjoy one of Canada's greatest natural resources, "The Great Outdoors"". They are building a resort. Building a resort that is wheelchair accessible, and is built with people with disabilities in mind.
The A.W.S is building a resort where your opportunities are endless. Where, despite having any physical challenges, you are easily able to spend time with your family in the great outdoors, and take your kids fishing. The entire resort will be built to accommodate wheelchairs or scooters, elderly or really... every and any BODY. They are in the process of building their dream, and it is inspiring how far they've come.
What is the most inspiring about Dan and Judy, is that they are doing all of this for others. They are doing this entire project, so that others will be able to benefit from their hard work. They can't wait for the day that the resort is full of people enjoying the great Canadian wilderness, without barriers.
Dan had a vision in his mind of being in a kayak with his wheelchair behind him. Free. Leaving his chair behind. Something, he is not often able to do. A few weeks ago, at McIvor lake, Judy, Dan and I ventured up to McIvor lake create the images he had thought about for so long.
It is truly an inspiring mission and I am so honored to be a part of their journey, however small a part. These images are special to me, for so many reasons.
Thank you Dan and Judy for all of your hard work, your selfless work and your amazing hearts. If only there were more like you.