Never let Your Disabilities Get You Down....The Doc Blackmore Story (A long read, but well worth it!

Discussion in 'Fishing With a Disability' started by lma, Jun 19, 2009.

  1. lma

    lma Active Member

    Doc and Cindy Blackmore….a wonderful couple that I know through church and many golf outings from years past. They have always seemed to be the “perfect couple,†designed by God himself. As you will read, Doc was in a tragic accident while on a hunting trip in Colorado. A big "Thank You" to Cindy for her inspiring words. Please read on:

    Dealing the hand that’s dealt to you…making lemonade out of lemons…whether you prefer one of these phrases or one of many others just like them, that is what Darwin (better known as Doc) Blackmore and his wife Cindy try to do every day. Their life changed drastically on 9/11/2004, when a bicycle that Doc was riding on veered off a mountain trail in the Rocky Mountains. Doc was on an elk hunting trip and was in a location that did allow motorized vehicles so his hunting party found a service trail and thought they would travel it to and from their camp on bikes. When the bike veered off the road, it hit a ditch and threw Doc over the handlebars. He landed on his neck and broke the top 7 vertebra, with some of them injuring his spinal cord. Immediately, he was paralyzed from the chin down and unable to breathe. One of his companions started assisted breathing while the other one went for help. It took several hours to get an ambulance to him but he remained conscience the entire time and was in amazing condition given the situation when help finally arrived. The next few months consisted of hospitals, numerous surgeries, training and lots of rehab to learn how to live again. The rehab facility offered the opportunity for paralyzed persons to learn to do the things they loved before their accident but in reformed ways. Doc was able to attend a shooting range outing and see the equipment that many use to hunt when they are paralyzed. Unfortunately, Doc cannot currently support his own head or move it in any direction with control so it makes disabled hunts difficult for him to participate in beyond just being there (which is sometimes enough). One of his other passions was to fish though and that seemed to be an attainable feat.

    The company that Cindy works for (Orscheln Products out of Moberly, MO) provided the funding to form a team that researched a type of puff and sip fishing pole. Doc is a member of that team and was the R&D support. A position he relished as it required many hours on the banks of rivers and ponds. The Fishing Doc, as it was named, operates completely on the intakes and exhales of breaths. Puffs and sips trigger motors that either engage the rod to be taken back and released for casting or engage the reel to reel the line in (preferably with a fish on the end of it). Doc’s personal version of this outdoor equipment has led to catching catfish, bluegill, bass, and most recently, rainbow trout. This product was developed to have a joystick option also for those that have limited ability with their arms/hands. They are currently being distributed for use in small numbers but they will be available for sale, at cost, through Orscheln Products in the very near future.
    Recently, Doc and Cindy made a trip to Bennett Springs for some trout fishing. Here is Doc’s rendition of how “we†caught his fish…. “About the time I realized I had a fish, Cindy saw it too and came running in her big waders, fishing pole under the arm, and trying to get her net up to net my fish! When she got out to where she thought my fish was, she tried to net my fish but it jumped out of the water about 4’ away from her in a different direction. So she moved where the fish was and tried to net it but the fish jumped about 4’ away from her again in the other direction. So then she tried to net it in yet another place but once again, it jumped somewhere not any close to where she was at. The next thing I know she had fallen onto her knees, onto my line and was using her net to try and push the fish up on the rocks. About this time, I told her, “just let it go and I’ll try to reel it in myself.†She was determined to get it in her net though, so she struggled to her feet and the trout swam between her legs. She took the net from behind her and got the trout in the net from behind, in between her legs. If it hadn’t been for the fish swallowing my hook, it would have been long gone! It drew the attention of about a dozen other fishermen, who I am sure had the biggest laugh of the day…J But we got my fish and later Cindy was complaining about being sore and said it was from fighting her fish but I told her, “no, it was from dancing with mine.â€

    You will not likely find Cindy and Doc at home very often because they are always looking for another adventure. With the 5th anniversary of the accident rapidly approaching, Doc is still paralyzed from the chin down and completely vent dependant. The doctors are the first to tell them that no one can tell them for sure what the future holds but then again, do any of us really know that? Besides continually pursuing and adapting to their love of the outdoors by modifying their activities to make situations work for them, they have also pursued the avenue of sharing their story. Many schools and churches have invited them to speak and share their experiences. God is a deep seated root in their life and since the accident, their faith has only grown stronger. They are first hand witnesses to many miracles that happen around them in so many different ways. They cherish each new day that they are granted together and strive to make the most of each of them! Doc often says that living is much more important than being alive. You will not find him without a smile on his face and a prayer in his heart. As a couple, they lean on each other and fall deeper in love with each passing day…even after 30 years of marriage.

  2. deerhunter365

    deerhunter365 Active Member

    Oct 14, 2008
    thats awesome that he still gets to go fishing and still enjoying life.


  3. venatic

    venatic ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

    That is a great story! Thanks for sharing!
  4. Satch

    Satch Senior Member

    Aug 5, 2008
    Central MO
    And we complain about our pains sometimes.

    Way to go:claphands::claphands::claphands:
  5. Dutch

    Dutch Senior Member Team 19

    Nov 28, 2003
  6. Chairman

    Chairman Senior Member

    Dec 2, 2002
    Henry County
    [rquote=1303222&tid=91118&author=lma]Doc often says that "living is much more important than being alive"[/rquote]

    I agree! :cheers:
  7. lma

    lma Active Member

    I stopped by yesterday to see Cindy & check the progress on the Fishing Doc. I watched a video Doc did explaining the device (inserting his humor when he could!) and actually using it. When it becomes available to us I'll get it posted on here as well. Amazing! :claphands::claphands::claphands:
  8. Chairman

    Chairman Senior Member

    Dec 2, 2002
    Henry County

    I'd like to meet Doc & Cindy, someday...
  9. lma

    lma Active Member

  10. Big L

    Big L Trapper Groupie

    Aug 8, 2008
    Bonne Terre
    It is really good to hear of someone overcoming a disability and still having a positive attitude and enjoying life to the fullest extent.Great story
  11. HawgHead

    HawgHead New Member

    Mar 19, 2006
    New Madrid County, MO
    that was a good story.
  12. henry

    henry Fan Boy aka Mr Twisty and

    Doc was a great guy with a friendly outgoing personality before his accident. He hasn't let the accident change his persona either. He prevails in continuing to love and enjoy the outdoors and his family. His example to those with disabilities and those without should be embraced and used as a motivator.

    Thanks Doc.

  13. lma

    lma Active Member

    [rquote=1304625&tid=91118&author=henry] Doc was a great guy with a friendly outgoing personality before his accident. He hasn't let the accident change his persona either. He prevails in continuing to love and enjoy the outdoors and his family. His example to those with disabilities and those without should be embraced and used as a motivator.

    Thanks Doc.

  14. Lonewolf

    Lonewolf Member

    Sep 1, 2005
    Just Bob I think you need to follow the link

    THE ICEMAN New Member

    Aug 13, 2008
    Lees Summit Mo.
    :claphands::claphands:U2U at cha Ima