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Fundraising looks to help Quesnel teen injured at rodeo in Prince George

Tyson Roberts, 16, from Quesnel, was seriously injured when he competed at a rodeo in Prince George June 18. The community is raising funds to help ease the burden as the family adapts to this new reality.
Tyson Roberts on horse
Tyson Roberts, 16, from Quesnel, sustained a life-altering injury at a rodeo in Prince George. There are fundraisers looking to ease the financial burden as the family adapts to this new reality.

Tyson Roberts, 16, was seriously injured when he competed at a rodeo in Prince George June 18.

With the permission of the Roberts family, Rodeo PG is announcing a support fund for Tyson and his family, Kevin Cunin, president of the Prince George Western Heritage Society that hosted the rodeo in Prince George, said.

“During the Saturday performance at our rodeo Tyson was bucked off of his bronc and sustained a serious and life-changing spinal cord injury,” Cunin said. “Rodeo PG (RPG) has set up an account and 100 per cent of all monies raised will be sent to the Roberts family to support their long and growing list of financial requirements due to this unfortunate injury. Tyson was a young and rising star in the rodeo world. One week prior to his injury he won the provincial High School Rodeo saddle bronc title in Quesnel. Rodeo PG and the community will support Tyson and the Roberts family as they go through this life-altering situation.”

Cunin spoke with Roberts by phone on Friday.

“He’s got a long road ahead of him and he needs all the support he can get,” Cunin said.

“And whether it’s $1 or $5 or all the way up - it will make an unbelievable difference.”

Cunin knows what Roberts is going through since he sustained a similar injury seven years ago at the BCRA Bulkley Valley Rodeo in Smithers.

Cunin said it’s a devastating injury that changed his whole world.

“There is a path forward and life goes on – life is different – he was a big part of the family ranch that is operated in Quesnel and the Quesnel ranching community is coming together and they will do everything they can to help as well,” Cunin said.

Even though the medical system is great, Cunin added, the additional costs that come with this sort of injury quickly add up.

“People don’t understand that the wheelchair alone that Tyson needs is upwards of $8,000 because they are fully custom and for hand controls in his pick up that will be $6,000 plus, and that’s just a bit of the expenses the family is looking at,” Cunin said.

Another major expense will be the home renovations to make it accessible for Roberts when he returns home, Cunin added

“Those home renovations get really expensive really quickly,” Cunin said.

Through the fundraising Rodeo PG is trying to ease the financial burden as the family gets used to the new reality that comes with this type of life-altering event that Tyson went through, Cunin added.

The family made a statement on a Facebook page hosting another fundraising opportunity for the family.

“We would like to express our gratitude to everyone for their love and support during this trying time. We are extremely grateful for your extended kindness, prayers and words of encouragement. Thank you to both Prince George and Quesnel Rodeo Associations for your continued generosity. Trust that you are all making a positive difference in our lives at the moment.” Sincerely, Stew, Jen and Tyson Roberts

Donations can be sent via e-transfer to rodeopg@outlook.com or be made at any Integris Credit Union - Membership # 10018779 and funds will go towards the Tyson Roberts Benefit Fund.

There is also an online auction on Facebook taking place to help raise funds at Benefit Auction for Tyson Roberts and auction item donations of goods or services are also welcome.