Imagine waking up early one morning, before dawn, excited about the latest adventure you have planned for the day — mountain biking! As you get to your picturesque destination and begin riding, you pass some beautiful lookouts, perfect for your lunch stop. After your ride, you think you might get drinks at the local bar in the nearby town.
But what if you don’t make it to drinks, or even lunch. Accidents can happen in a flash to any of us, sometimes with devastating results.
“Paddle for Lars” was created by friends for a someone who had just such an accident.
Lars De Beer has always been an incredible fellow, always up for an adventure. He was working as a freelance designer in Amsterdam last summer when he had a major mountain biking accident in Texel, breaking his neck and paralyzing him from the shoulders down.
Like many professional artists, he doesn’t have the necessary insurance to cover the medical costs of healing, coping, and care necessary after such a life-altering event.
Lars’ friends (including Pivot Audio) joined together to create the “de Beer Foundation,” with which they organized some Amsterdam-cool fundraisers — a hair cutting event, music shows, one stellar silent auction (gear from Patagonia, Volkl, and Mountain Hardware, a weekend in Bali) — in support of Lars’ medical costs and ongoing paralysis research.
One of their top events thus far was on September 20th, when more than 500 people Paddled for Lars through the canals of Amsterdam. The day’s concerts and drinks drew more than 1,000 people, all proceeds going to aide Lars. Sponsors included Helly Hanson, Patagonia, Starbucks and Grolsch.
There is still a long, difficult road ahead for Lars, and the De Beer Foundation knows it. They’ll be there, supporting him with every step down that road:
“For those that experience a major accident or trauma, life will forever be more daunting and more difficult. The proper support (emotional, physical, financial) is crucial for their well-being. The de Beer foundation was created for this reason, to aid those that need our help. The foundation will seek to raise awareness for paralysis research and help to support those that suffer from this condition.”
While Lars is lucky to have some pretty incredible friends and family supporting him, they have not quite met their fundraising goal. If you would like to donate, or learn more about the foundation, check out their beautiful website, like them on Facebook, or search #lovelars.
As we are all too aware lately, accidents and catastrophes can happen in a flash. When you’re out adventuring in the wilderness, help can be days, even weeks away. For yourself and your loved ones, learn how to respond quickly by taking a class in wilderness medicine. Check out Wilderness Medicine Training Center for a list of courses coming up in your area.
Paddle for Lars Video (Vimeo)