File photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff Duane Daines celebrates with his dance partner Natalie Brooks after winning the 2018 Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off in Red Deer last month.

Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off winner to give wheelchair to Humboldt Bronco

The 2018 Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off winner will donate his wheelchair to a survivor of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

Innisfail’s Duane Daines, a Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer, will give the wheelchair he used in the dance off to Airdrie’s Ryan Straschnitzki.

“The whole country wanted to get behind (the Broncos) and I was no different than everybody else,” Daines said.

Straschnitzki, 19, was paralyzed from the chest down in the April 6 crash, where 16 people died and 13 were injured.

In 1995, Daines had his rodeo career cut short after suffering a spinal cord injury in a bucking chute accident. Daines said he wants Straschnitzki to know people are there for him.

“I was down there to visit him one time, and I’ve talked to his dad and mom a few times. I thought if there’s any way I can help him out, like if there’s any questions, I’ll be there,” he said.

Daines said it means a lot to see so many people support the Humboldt Broncos and their families after such a tragic incident.

“I think everything is so overwhelming for them. They can’t believe the whole country is behind them,” he said.

Straschnitzki will receive the wheelchair as soon as he gets out of the Calgary hospital, Daines said.

“It’s a real high-end sports chair, where you can use it for basketball and other things.

“I knew just reading articles about him that he was a real sports guy. He liked working out and all that stuff so it just seemed like the right thing to do,” said Daines.

He said it will be a “new world” for Straschnitzki in a wheelchair. But, Daines hopes he continues his passion for sports.

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