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Local boarder makes case for supporting Dual Mountain Rally



Organizers looking for more local participation in spinal cord research fund-raiser

Just over one year ago, Whistler resident Tyler Mosher wasn't sure if he would ever walk again.

But six weeks after he broke his back in nine places snowboarding on Blackcomb Glacier, Mosher was slowly re-learning how to use his legs at the G.F. Strong Rehab Centre in Vancouver.

His story is the exception. Or, according to Mosher, "a miraculous recovery."

"I'm the rare case," he said.

Mosher broke his back on Dec. 30, 2000 when he hit a windblown rock hole, landing on his head. He was wearing a helmet at the time, which he believes played a huge part in saving his life. After being heli-lifted off the mountain and rushed by ambulance to Vancouver General Hospital, the doctors determined that the damage to his spinal cord was severe.

But it was not completely severed.

Mosher spent the following months turning his horrific accident into a success story and now, coming full circle again, he is actively trying to raise money for the rehab system that was instrumental in giving him back his life.

It was a cause that he was actively involved in even before his accident.

On Saturday, Feb. 23, participants in the sixth annual Dual Mountain Rally will be hitting the slopes in a combined effort to raise thousands of dollars for the B.C. Rehab Foundation.

"Three years ago I participated in the Dual Mountain Rally. Last year, two weeks prior to the event I had a back injury and ended up being part of the system," said Mosher.

The giant rally over both mountains raised $80,000 last year in an effort to support people who have had spinal cord injuries.

"There have been a lot of people from Whistler that have gone through the G.F. Strong Rehab Centre," Mosher said.

During his recovery process Mosher met fellow Whistler local John Ryan. This was the man who had hand-cycled across Canada, raising over $1-million for spinal cord regeneration.

"When I went through rehab I saw a lot of people with spinal cord injuries. I've seen first hand what (the B.C. Rehab Foundation) do and how they really help people," said Ryan.

Ryan was in G.F. Strong for more than three months during the winter of 1995 after being involved in a car accident.

"I think the Whistler community really has been touched by spinal cord injuries... due to skiing, the lifestyle and the highway. We contribute more than our fair share to the spinal cord ward," said Ryan, who has been on the board of directors for the foundation for about two years.