EDMONTON - As a young teen, Active Detective Bryce Clarke of Edmonton's historical homicide unit, looked up to Rick Hansen.
his Man in Motion tour started 25 years ago, I was also only 14, 13
years old. Even back then I was aware of it, we celebrated it in school
so I followed him, literally, for 25 years," Clarke says.
admiration would become even more personal, though, when the unexpected
happened years ago. Clarke was hosting a party and dove into a swimming
pool, something he'd done countless times before, but this time, he hit
his head. He blacked out, and when he awoke, he was paralyzed from the
"The doctors flat out said 'you'll never walk again,
you'll never work again, you won't have much of a life again, you'll
never live on an acreage anymore, you're going to be relying on
But Clarke wasn't willing to accept that and was not ready to give up his dreams of becoming a homicide detective.
"I remember lying in the ICU and I could twitch my right arm, just a bit," he says.
was the beginning of a long path of recovery that would eventually lead
to Clarke regaining the use of his arms and torso. Then just three
years after the accident, he defied the odds and rejoined the service.
He now says anything is possible and there's no limitations to what a person can do - something his coworkers see in him.
"Bryce is a guy who pushes the envelope, he wants to do more and more and more," says Det. Brad Mandrusiak.
think that Bryce is a good role model not only for disabled people, but
people in general," he adds. "When you have someone who can overcome
the difficulties and some of the challenges he has, people can take
comfort in that. He can act and serve as a positive role model for all
Now Det. Clarke is getting a chance to meet his role
model - the man who transformed spinal cord research with his Man in
Motion Tour as the 25th anniversary relay passes through Edmonton this
coming Monday. Clarke has been chosen to be a carry a commemorative
medal that has been carried across the country as part of the relay -
something he considers a huge honour.
"To be selected, you know,
is a privilege," he says. "To be able to meet the man and have the
chance to ask him 'you know, how have you done throughout the years,'
it's pretty special, that's for sure."
Clarke says he still hopes to one day walk again. Until then, he plans on persevering and giving his job his all.
"I've got a lot of years left and I plan on doing the best I can with those years."
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