Dan Edwards proves determination is an unstoppable force of nature, says ‘**it Happens, but what happens next is up to you’Charitable Event, Feature, Sarnia, Spotlight — By Joe Burd on March 16, 2012 at 9:50 am
Photographs provided by Rick Terpstra Photography
Story contributed by Rick Terpstra
Dan Edwards was an 18-year-old high school senior and football star at St. Christopher's when one moment, one day while horsing around with a buddy tragedy struck.
Dan was paralyzed leaving him with no feeling from the neck down.
That was five years ago.
An athlete with the world in his palm, suddenly everything was taken away. Barring a miracle or advances in modern medicine, Dan will never walk again.
But, determination is a strong, sometimes unstoppable, force of nature to be reckoned with and that sentiment couldn't be demonstrated more clearly than it’s been by Dan when it comes to his efforts to meet life's challenges.
Less than a year after his accident, he regained some use of his arms and wrists. Since that time, he's continued to rehabilitate himself and push his limits. Even if progress is sometimes slow, there's definitely been progress.
Great support from his family, friends and his faith got him to where he is today. His mom Florette has been his biggest influence.
In his last year at Lambton College for Marketing, he is also a "motivational speaker" and goes wherever he can to help.
Dan's attitude is that he will do what he can with what he has and to always be his best. He deeply believes in himself and derives great inspiration from a quote made famous by Martin Luther King Jr.
"If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward."
"Life is hard, but have faith, and you will shake it off. Step by step, day by day and you'll be fine," said Edwards.
While talking to another paraplegic in London, Dan came up with "**it Happens."
**it Happens is all about giving back, giving to those people who don't have the same support system Dan had.
Dan's friends have raised over $200,000 for the family renovations on their house, van for transportation, and a wheelchair.
Even with the success it's had, Dan's **it Happens campaign needs the continued support of the community.
To support **it Happens, shirts are available on sale at Ironworks Fitness in Point Edward. All proceeds from the sale of the shirts go directly to the Rick Hanson Foundation.
"**it Happens, what happens next is up to you."