Ex-Nanaimo Clipper marks anniversary of his tragic accident with a celebration
Former Nanaimo Clipper Aaron Moser might never walk again, but to lose all hope would be to lose everything.
On Oct. 24, the 27-year-old celebrated on the ninth anniversary of a tragic accident that left him a quadriplegic after he was checked into the boards during a B.C. Hockey League game in Powell River.
You read that right. He celebrated.
“I don’t mourn the day,” Moser said on Wednesday, from his home in Edmonton. “On that day every year, I take my parents out for a really nice dinner to let them know how much I appreciate everything they do for me. They go way beyond their duties as parents and I like to celebrate that.”
Moser recently returned from a trip to Toronto, where he had an up close and personal tour of the Canadian Spinal Research Organization centre at McMaster University. His trip was two-fold: To see where the money goes when it’s donated to the CSRO, and to donate $40,000 from the Aaron Moser Spinal Cord Injury Foundation to their annual Shoot For a Cure campaign that gets underway on Saturday.
“To see what they’re doing there brings it to reality that not only is it possible to find a cure, but it’s possible within 10 to 20 years,” said Moser.
Even though he lived in Nanaimo for only one month, Moser stills feels a connection with the community that poured out support following his injury.
“Everyone really rallied around me and I’ll never forget that,” Moser said.
Nanaimo’s Sean Krause, owner of ReAction Source For Sports, remembers Moser and hopes the sparks fly on Saturday when he holds a fundraising Skate Sharpening Day in support of Shoot For a Cure.
“There were only a couple years between (former Clipper) Bill Zapf and Aaron breaking their necks during junior hockey games,” said Krause, also a former Clipper.
Six years before Moser’s injury, Zapf, in just his second game with the Clippers, suffered a similar misfortune when he was checked from behind into the boards by Bill Muckalt when Muckalt played for the Merritt Centennials in November 1992.
“(Spinal cord injuries) happen in hockey every year at all levels. Whether it’s a broken back or neck, it’s a reality in that sport,” said Krause.
He hopes to exceed last year’s total of sharpening 75 pairs of skates and invites anyone with dull figure, recreational or hockey skates to come in and add to the $500,000 the 145 Source for Sports locations nationwide have raised for Shoot For a Cure in the past three years.
With a minimum donation of $5 and 100% of the proceeds going to Shoot For a Cure, Krause hopes his location will raise at least $500.
“It’s for a great cause,” said Krause, who is also anxious to try out his new Blademaster skate sharpening system that contours the blades to accommodate the skater’s height, weight and skating ability.
“This machine is an investment in hockey for Central Vancouver Island and I’m hoping the community can invest in this cause (Shoot for a Cure),” said Krause.
Fundraising for a cause that doesn’t affect everyone is a challenge in itself, said Moser.
“Fundraising for spinal cord injuries really takes a backseat to other causes because it’s not something that touches the lives of almost every family, like cancer.”
Moser will never stop his drive to help find a cure for spinal cord injuries because as much as he copes every day with being paralyzed from the collar bone down, he’ll never let go of the hope he’ll walk again one day.
“And nothing is going to help me until they find a cure,” said Moser.
For more information on Skate Sharpening Day at ReAction Source For Sports call 250-758-4000.
Where: ReAction Source for Sports, 21-1925 Bowen Road
What: Skate Sharpening Day national initiative to raise money for Spinal Cord Research. Proceeds from every skate sharpened at Source for Sports stores across Canada will be donated to Shoot for a Cure. Last year, Source for Sports stores did more than 10,000 skate sharpenings averaging about 60 per store, Nanaimo’s ReAction Source for Sports did 75. This year, with the help of the public, the Nanaimo store hopes to sharpen 150 skates.
Price: Minimum $5, with further donations welcome.
Krista Charke – Daily News