Melissa Irish hams it up at the entry gate to Manning Park on day 3. Submitted photo

Okanagan brother of Paralympian and friends on course for Victoria

Penticton’s Tyler Luscombe and his friends are running to raise money for his Paralympian brother

Because that’s just what brothers do.

Tyler Luscombe and three of his Penticton, BC Wildfire Service friends and co-workers are halfway through their 10-day, 432-kilometre fundraising run to Victoria to help his younger brother, Braydon Luscombe.

Braydon, 26, who lost his right leg to necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating disease) at age five, has been a member of the Canadian Paralympic Ski Team for seven years, and is required to raise much of the money himself for team fees and equipment.

“Braydon’s never been one to ask for help, he’s just a normal person and he’s never expected anything different from anyone,” said Tyler, who’s doing the run with Braydon Kellett, Melissa Irish and Danny Larsen. “He does everything we do and more, I really look up to him and I would do this even if he wasn’t my brother.

“He’s just a quality human being.”

The four, who take turns running in front of the CanaDream motorhome, left the Penticton Airport Road fire base Friday at 11 a.m. on their way to the Crows Nest Highway

They spent Tuesday night camped out near Agassiz, opting to take the quieter Highway 7 route.

“It’s going pretty good. Long days for sure, but we’re definitely hanging in there,” said Tyler the morning of Day 4 from Manning Park Resort.

“We’ve had tons of support, people honking at us and we had a lady pull over Sunday and chat with us and donated some money, that was really nice.

“Having people honking and waving really makes a big difference. It kind of lifts your spirits. Our spirits are pretty high, but it’s cool to see people support us.”

Just as important as the money to the runners is their campaign to raise awareness of the Paralympic ski program.

“That’s something that we hope will stick in people’s minds, and that maybe they’ll learn a little more about it,” said Tyler, who gets calls daily from his brother, checking on their progress and to make sure they’re alright.

As part of the fundraising campaign, Tyler has set up two internet accounts with the goal of raising enough money to cover Braydon’s costs for this season.

“That comes to around 10,000 bucks and he’s had to come up with that himself, and my family tries to help and so my friends and I decided we would try and do something and kind of be his sponsor this year,” said Tyler.

Related: Okanagan runners finishing up day four of Run for Luscombe 2018

His younger brother has skied in the last two Paralympic games Sochi, Russia and Pyeongchang, South Korea, and Tyler has had the opportunity to see him compete in person on the world stage.

“It’s pretty emotional, I really don’t have too many words for it, it just makes me so proud and again it just speaks to the type of person he is,” said Tyler.

Skiing was actually something the entire Luscombe family took up together when he was six years old.

“None of us ever skied before and it was something we all wanted, to start something new together.

After I lost my leg, it was something we could all learn together,” said Braydon who came to Penticton several weeks ago for a beer and burger fundraiser at Bad Tattoo.

He added his siblings, older brothers Jordan and Tyler and younger sister Hannah, didn’t treat him any differently after his amputation.

“I think I was just the “other” brother. They still wrestled with me, they still stole my leg and ran away with it, it wasn’t different in any way which is exactly what I would want,” said Braydon, laughing at the memories of those times growing up in Duncan.

Braydon skied in four races in Pyeongchang, his best result an eighth-place finish in the Super G. He also won a bronze medal in the 2018 World Cup downhill final and is consistently in the top 10.

His first race this season will be a World Cup event in Sella Nevea, Italy in mid-December.

“It’s pretty neat what they’re doing for me.

I actually didn’t know about it for the longest time, so it’s pretty cool,” said Braydon, who hopes to join the group at some point in the run.

“Honestly, it just helps me focus so much more on the skiing and training. It really takes that whole aspect of what I normally have to do most years away, so it’s a bonus for sure.

“It’s pretty incredible just to know that people are thinking of me in that way and trying to help out in any way possible,” he said about the fundraising run. “It’s pretty special of him (Tyler) and for his friends to jump in even though they’d never met, just a huge thank you for all they’ve done.”

In addition to the PledgeIt (https://pledgeit.org/run-for-luscombe2018) and GoFundMe (https://www.gofundme.com/run-for-luscombe-2018) sites, those wishing to help can also go to the Cannery Brewing Company on Ellis Street in Penticton until Nov. 12 and purchase or fill a Growler Cask and $2 will go to the fundraiser.


 

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Inside the RV which is home for (left to right) Melissa Irish, Braydon Kellett, Tyler Luscombe and Danny Larsen on their run to Victoria. Mark Brett/Western News

Tyler Luscombe and crew on the road to Victoria. Mark Brett/Western News

Tyler Luscombe leaving heading out on Highway 97 on the first day of a 10-day run to Victoria. Mark Brett/Western News

Three of the four Penticton runners (left to right) Melissa Irish, Tyler Luscombe and Braydon Kellett at Sunday Summit on their way to Victoria. The four, including Danny Larsen, are raising money for Tyler’s Paralympian brother Braydon. Submitted photo

Braydon Luscombe in action at the Alpine Canada Para Ski Downhill Championship. Photo courtesy Roger Witney

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