My name is Randy Ford, owner of Alpine Fishing Adventures. Along with this donation of a guiding fishing charter, I wanted to share my story and thank you for your contribution to the BOEC by attending this event (36th Annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration). Your contributions will do amazing things for a variety of people who have the will to live and enjoy despite life’s most difficult circumstances. 

In 1994 at 19 years old, I found myself paralyzed from the neck down with a C4/C5 spinal cord injury after a skiing accident. Due to the incomplete nature of my injury, after 7 months, I was able to step out of Craig Hospital upright on two feet using Canadian crutches. With various impairments throughout my body I was faced with a whole new situation in life with some difficult circumstances ahead of me.

For quite some time once I left Craig Hospital, I attended clinical physical and occupational therapies, and despite some of the amazing and talented caregivers I had, I was at a plateau in my recovery and felt like I reached a dead end. I started to become depressed and had feelings of giving up, I had begun to lose my will to keep fighting for more recovery. Through it all, something I did realize, was the time I had spent with the Craig Hospital Therapeutic Recreation Department was some of the most enjoyable time I had spent since my injury occurred and within a year and a half after my injury, I found that best way to wash my depression and pain away was to emerge myself back into activities and exploration in the alpine environment. It became my best therapy, and it’s the same type of therapy that inherently comes along with the BOEC outings.

Through my own experiences, and having spent time helping out on BOEC adapt ski, and fishing outings, I am a witness to how participating in activities in the mountainous environment can expose the body to physical, occupational, psychological, and spiritual therapies. For me, it challenged my motor skills by being in situations navigating different terrains in the alpine conditions. It helped increase my abilities for motor movements and strength. My mind and body where challenged to come up with more ways to move and adapt, I learned how to use my body differently to accomplish movements and tasks. It built confidence and independence, and it kept me in touch with what was true to me spiritually. It was like taking an antidepressant, going to clinical therapy, attending church, and having a blast all in one shot. It was my best medicine.

I am contributing this fishing trip from my company Alpine Fishing Adventures, because I want the funds raised by bidding on this trip to help others get the same kind of benefits I received by participating in activities in the mountains. 

Once again, thank you for your contributions. And thank you for your bids on this fishing trip. I will give it my all to show you a fantastic time on Dillon Reservoir!