Ibell Scholarship is born out of friendship
When Simon Ibell, suffering from a rare medical condition, was bullied in Grade 8, three people came to his aid at St.
Michaels University School. They were Grade 12 basketball stars Steve Nash and Milan Uzelac, and coach Ian Hyde Lay.
Ibell and his family never forgot. In fact, Simon forged lasting, life long friendships with all three.
The story came full circle on Saturday in the SMUS gym with the announcement of the Hyde Lay/Ibell Scholarship that will annually fund a year of education at the private school for a student athlete who would not otherwise be able to afford it. The endowment is being pandora gold charms sale made by Simon Ibell, his sister and fellow SMUS grad Olivia and Marie.
At the ceremony, Simon announced that the playing surface in the SMUS Gym will be named Hyde Lay Court, in honour of the coach who, over three decades, has produced the likes of two time NBA MVP Nash in basketball and several World Cup rugby players for Canada out of SMUS.
Ibell became student manager of basketball teams at SMUS, and later at the University of Victoria with the Vikes, and also with the Nash captained Canadian team in the years leading up to the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics. It all began with a coach taking a chance on a kid.
Ibell suffers from Hunter syndrome, a genetic condition also known as MPS II that has limited his growth to four foot eight. He has only met one other person with the affliction. Nine times, Ibell has been told pandora jewelry order online he would not live to see the following year. But he is now 37. Ibell has been told by the medical profession that he is a "best case scenario." Others would say it's because he is a true battler.
Like many kids, Ibell dreamed of being an athlete.
"When I was told at 13 that I could not play sports, it was a blow to my psyche," he said.
"But Ian Hyde Lay found another role for me. It instilled in me a confidence that I needed most at that time. Ian became a teacher, mentor and friend.
"I wouldn't be here without his guidance and friendship. Ian has been instrumental in my life of academics, the arts, community and sports."
Based in Toronto, Ibell has founded the Be Fair 2 Rare public outreach program to increase awareness, funding and advocacy for people with rare diseases in Canada and also the iBellieve Foundation, which advocates for charms for pandora Canadians pandora s charms with rare diseases.
Among the things Ibell has done to raise funding and awareness is cycle the length of the Island, from Port Hardy to Victoria, in 2002. When he came into the home stretch, Ibell was joined by an honour guard comprising two of the greatest Island athletes with Nash riding on one side and Olympic gold medallist triathlete Simon Whitfield on the other. His ride raised $250,000 for research into rare diseases,
Despite his physical limitations, Ibell never accepted help shagging balls, picking up towels or hauling equipment at SMUS, UVic or with the national team. He also recorded game stats and, at UVic, made arrangements for airlines and hotels for Vikes away games.
Ibell received the Distinguished Alumni Award from UVic in 2012.
"What Simon has accomplished is staggering," said Hyde Lay. "He has defied every prognostication.
I'm humbled to have the scholarship and the court named after me. But this day is really all about Simon.".
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