Dual Mountain Rally to benefit adaptive ski program 

Event organizer and promoter Tyler Mosher has three things to say about Dual Mountain Rally 2003, scheduled for the evening of Friday, April 4 and all day Saturday.

The first is "fun, fun, fun" – In its seven years, this fundraiser for the B.C. Rehab Foundation has built a reputation as a well-run and thoroughly entertaining event and adventure that takes teams all over Whistler and Blackcomb mountains.

The second thing is "great value" – Raising $250 in tax-deductible pledges for B.C. Rehab gets you a dual mountain pass for the day, three meals and an apres party at the Westin, coaching from a sports celebrity or member of the Whistler Freeride Team, and the opportunity to win great prizes. This year’s grand prize is a trip for two to Hawaii to go with this year’s theme, Aloha! That means participants are encouraged to dress Hawaiian, and the best costumes will also be eligible for prizes.

The third thing to keep in mind is that it’s all for a "great cause" – B.C. Rehab contributes more than $1 million a year to programs that improve the quality of life for people with physical disabilities, and proceeds from this year’s rally will go specifically towards the Whistler Adaptive Ski Program.

The last point is especially important to Mosher, who suffered a spinal cord injury in December of 2000. New treatments and rehabilitative therapies, sponsored by B.C. Rehab and provided by the GF Strong Rehab Centre in Vancouver, helped Mosher to get back on his feet with only partial paralysis of his lower limbs. A few years before, Mosher would have been in a wheelchair.

"This is an exciting time for spinal cord research, and we may be just a few years away from a treatment for spinal cord injuries," says Mosher. "New treatments have been hugely successful – I’m an example of that."

Mosher got back on his snowboard for the first time since the accident at last year’s Dual Mountain Rally, and has been back up a few times this year as he has gotten more involved with the Whistler Adaptive Ski Program (WASP). He helped the group to test a new snowboard for people with disabilities, and a few weeks ago he helped to guide a 17-year-old with cerebral palsy around the mountain.

"It’s really a big deal for people to get back out there. Rehab through sports and leisure is a great way to get back into things," says Mosher.

WASP is having a breakthrough season, expanding its alpine program, forming a partnership with the U.S.-based National Sports Centre for the Disabled, and adding cross-country skiing and snowboarding to the list of activities offered. So far WASP has been at its capacity, and has aided more than 800 physically disabled skiers.

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