From time to time in life we meet certain people who touch us deeply and we are driven to help even with a distance far between. Life is fragile, but a person's will outweighs when dreams are strong.
Cameron Messer aka parabassin on the social media platform Instagram, is a man with dreams and aspirations larger than life. Cameron is a man with passions and dreams like us all, but with those dreams there are obstacles he must face everyday. As Cameron was growing up he dreamt of being a professional motocross racer, but when he was 17 tragedy struck. Cameron was involved in an accident that caused a spinal cord injury, which nearly took his life, but instead leaving him paralyzed from the chest down with no chance of walking for the rest of his life. As the years passed and the hard fought battles with emotions, reality, and hopelessness crept by it was only a matter of time until fate had it's way. In a heart touching turn of events Cameron's father saved up enough money to buy him a truck. This was not just any truck, but a truck with hand controls. It was this life changing moment that the pieces started to come back together and the light at the end of the tunnel came into sight. After the struggles, Cameron remembered growing up and how much fun he had fishing for rainbow trout at Lake Curlew in Washington State with his father. As years continued to go by, days off work became days on the water. During these days on the water he would self launch his 14" Tracker and hit the water alone as much as possible. Fishing was becoming not only a love of his, but a reminder that his troubles could not stand in his way. Although he is bound to a wheelchair, does that stop him from smiling, laughing, and enjoying every moment on the water? Absolutely not, he overcomes every bump in the road with courage and bravery. He has more dreams than one can fathom.
Having the honor to know Cameron for such a little span of time has been an absolute pleasure. His love for angling was best described by him-
"To say I like to fish would be an understatement. I LOVE to fish and have a passion for competing at tournament level. As long as my heart has a beat I will be on the water proving to the world that disabled people, regardless if you’re in a wheelchair or not, that you CAN and are ABLE to do what brings you joy no matter what battles you face."
"Here not for fame, but to inspire" is a powerful quote placed in the bio of Cameron's Instagram. It's a representation of who he is inside and out. Cameron stands to inspire others to follow their dreams and to never lose sight of what's important. Cameron plans to pursue fishing as a career and to be the first Bassmaster Classic winner in a wheelchair. Can he do it? That question isn't "if" he can, it's WHEN he can! A truly valuable lesson Cameron has taught me personally, without him even knowing, is to be grateful for everything we have in life.
The post of Cameron Messer gained much viral attention from over 100 thousand people, one of them being former Dallas Cowboys DB-WR, Deion Sanders. Deion was greatly impressed by the bravery and courage of Cameron and eventually reached out to show his support. He first commented on our post, saying "I want to go fishing with him. Let's do it" and then went on to message Cameron personally. We got into contact with Sanders to thank him for showing his support and enthusiasm for Cameron. Mr Sanders further stated his willingness to use his platform to help in any way possible.
While his journey has been one of with trials and tribulations, he will continue to inspire us all. As he embarks on this journey that will be filled with challenges we here at UniversalBassin and the fishing community will be here to back him up.