Inspired to raise the profile of Rotary Challenger Park
Published Wednesday, May 24, 2017 4:22PM MDT Last Updated Wednesday, May 24, 2017 5:08PM MDT
Cal Schuler has been in a wheelchair for 42 years and became a quadriplegic as a result of an injury suffered in 1975.
Schuler decided early on to make the most of his situation.
“You can either sit back and do nothing or make the best of your life, kind of thing, so that's the kind of path that I’ve chosen,” he said.
He is active in rotary and last year he and his faithful service dog, Sierra, were made honorary ambassadors of Rotary Challenger Park in northeast Calgary.
The park is near and dear to his heart because of what it stands for.
“It's a park that's built towards building that community inclusiveness and the awareness, you know, it's almost what the park says where a place where everyone can play,” said Schuler.
Schuler is credited with raising the park's annual Family Fun Day to a whole new level and last year, it attracted 1500 people. This year's event is scheduled for Saturday, June 24th.
Schuler got his rehab diploma from Mount Royal College and he met Rhonda Amiot while both were students and they now work together on many of his projects.
“Cal and I became really good friends in college and I thought he had a great sense of humour and I like to help people as well and so kind of a good fit and so we've just continued. He continues to ask me to help him to do various jobs that he needs to have help with,” said Amiot.
Amiot is inspired by what Schuler does for the disabled and to help able bodied people gain a better understanding of the challenges they face.
“They have a chair that they can actually get in and feel like they are in a wheelchair and have that experience,” she said.
Sierra is Schuler’s third service dog and he has great appreciation for all she does for him.
“She's a big help. She'll open and close doors for me, pushes buttons and you know just generally uh that comfort and safety that you have with somebody with you 24 hours a day,” he said.
For all he does to make life better for people facing challenges similar to his, Cal Schuler is our Inspiring Albertan this week.
(With files from Darrel Janz)