Here at Wolf Creek Outfitters, Inc. July is a month of “Giving back” to others. We were happy to participate in the Jicarilla 4-H Horse Camp earlier this month, and now we have been blessed by the visit of a group of near and dear friends from San Diego, California. We have been trying to get them to come to the gorgeous Rocky Mountains for years. Their son Tyler finally convinced them with a special request and made it happen.
Tyler is 17 years old and was born with spinal muscular atrophy, SMA. He was not expected to live beyond five years old. He is now going to be a senior in high school and is part of his school’s basketball and football team. Each day is a blessing to him. Tyler says “Make the most of everyday while you are here.” His mother, Gina, goes above and beyond to allow Tyler’s to experience as much as he can in life. Because of he and his mothers hard work and determination he has been fortunate to experience a lot of great things and meet many great people.
This year Tyler told his mom he wanted to go white water rafting. She told me his wish and Hank and I beamed. We just happen to know some very experienced raft guides that could grant this wish. We went to work right away planning the special ride down the river.
Tyler has steel rods in his spine and can not support his neck very well. It would be a challenge to support him in a raft floating down rapids. Tyler’s mom was worried about jarring caused by rapids or rocks hurting him. Some rafting companies offer a fixed, rigid chair in a raft which a rider can be strapped into. We discussed this option and determined it was going to be best to use body support our friend. This would allow him to “roll” with the waves instead of “crashing” against them.
Hank talked with the team at Flexible Flyer’s in Durango, Colorado. Together they arranged a float for Tyler down the Animas river. Tyler would be supported on either side Hank, who has been a raft guide for over 20 years and by his friend Donnie who helps with his home care. Their guide would be Stephen Saltsman who is a 40 year veteran raft guide. His mother, Gina felt confident he was going to be in good hands.
Tyler can mark it down in his amazing adventures that he, a young man with spinal muscular atrophy, has successfully gone white water rafting on the Animas River in Colorado!!! The smile says it all and we are proud to have helped make it happen!
GET KIDS OUTSIDE!!!
Advertisements on this site do not express or represent the opinion of MAC Outdoors or Mia Anstine.