Friday evening, January 11, 2019 one remarkable hunter, Cory McGregor will be awarded the SCI Foundation Pathfinder Award. A Pathfinder is “one who finds a way or finds a new route.” SCI Foundation Pathfinders are people who are faced with challenges in life that cause them to find new ways to live and to overcome the challenge of being engaged in outdoor activities. These hunters also give of their time to help their communities and promote hunting for other disabled hunters.
This year’s Pathfinder Award winner was an active hunter when, in May of 2001, he was injured in a single vehicle rollover on a backcountry road near his parent’s home in Clark, Wyoming. He was ejected from the truck resulting in fractured cervical, lumbar and thoracic vertebrae. His spinal cord was severed in the thoracic area. He completed his rehabilitation in July of 2001, and that fall was back hunting.
McGregor helped co-found Wyoming Disabled Hunters (WDH) in 2008, which helps disabled hunters enjoy affordable hunts and organizes opportunities for disabled hunters to reaffirm their ability to provide for their family while building friendships with other motivated people. McGregor continues leading in the role of president with the support of ten board members.
Countless disabled hunters have benefited from McGregor’s organizational and hunt coordinator efforts. Over and over, hunters talk about his endless energy and abilities that overcome his paralysis as an inspiration. McGregor is in constant motion with one project or another. Many of those projects, such as cutting and splitting wood, running heavy equipment and farming for his in-laws, are not typical projects for a paralyzed person.
McGregor serves as an advocate to the public for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). He helps to educate contractors, business owners and city councils regarding the requirements of the ADA and the needs of disabled customers. McGregor is also involved in supporting the National AgrAbility Project that assists farmers, ranchers and other agricultural workers living with a disability.
McGregor own independence spills over to help him teach other disabled friends and consumers that disability is no barrier at all, if you are willing to climb!
The SCI Foundation Pathfinder program provides funding to SCI Chapters in support of their activities that engage disabled, terminally ill, wounded military and veterans in outdoor activities. Often, the reintroduction to nature and hunting helps these hunters find their way to adapt to their life changes and challenges.