Paralyzed jockey Alyssa Selman has a new wheelchair-accessible home, thanks to the generous support of hundreds of Manitobans, Canadians and kind-hearted souls from around the world that donated to her fundraising campaign this summer at Assiniboia Downs.
The 26-year-old mother of two was severely injured on June 27, 2015 at Assiniboia Downs, when the horse she was riding in the sixth race, Lord Jasmond, clipped heels and fell in midstretch, throwing Selman heavily to the track. Rushed to Winnipeg’s Health Sciences Centre after being stabilized, Selman later underwent surgery to repair fractured vertebra and damage to her spinal cord, but remained paralyzed from the chest down.
News of Selman’s accident spread quickly around the world via newspaper, television and social media, Assiniboia Downs CEO Darren Dunn was called upon for numerous media interviews and Alyssa’s story caught fire. People began to call and email from around the world asking how they could help
Some very caring individuals from the top down at Assiniboia Downs immediately went to work behind the scenes trying to raise money for their fallen rider, helping to organize donations, a benefit social, a GoFundMe page, the aforementioned trust accounts and an eBay auction. Trust accounts were opened at the Toronto Dominion Bank, the Assiniboine Credit Union, and the Access Credit Union, and donations began to pour in.
At the same time, Selman was coming to terms with the painful fact that she might never walk again. She began her rehabilitation with the bravest face possible, but admitted there were many days of nights when she cried for hours. There was however, some good news with regards to her future living conditions. A wheelchair-accessible home was for sale in the area around Carmen, MB, where she had grown up.
Before the accident, Selman’s had lived in a small two-storey home in St. Lupicin, MB with her husband Rumesh, daughter, Ari (4) and son Amar (7), her cats, horses and her Doberman Pinscher Gwen. But that home would no longer work for someone in a wheelchair.
The news of a possible “dream home” kept Selman’s spirits up, as did news of donations. If enough money could be raised, a new home might become a reality.
The generosity of both horsepeople and non-horse people from around the world was swift and powerful. From July to October over $118,000 was deposited into the Selman trust accounts, and on Wednesday, October 21, 2015, Selman received mortgage approval from the Access Credit Union for the purchase of her dream home.
A total of $115,432 from the trust funds was used as a down payment on the four-year-old wheelchair-accessible home in Alyssa’s childhood home district of Stephenfield, MB. This paid for approximately one half of the purchase price of the property, resulting in very reasonable monthly mortgage payments. Selman took possession of the home on Nov. 1, 2015, one day before her 30th birthday.
Selman remains in a wheelchair, but is overjoyed with her new home, and would like to sincerely thank each and every donor and every person who contributed in any way to the success of the fundraising drive.
She is truly overwhelmed by the support she has received.