EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

May 26, 2013

'I hope I can walk again'

Paralyzed man says he chooses to have more good days than bad

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Boshar’s maternal relatives hosted a benefit and raised part of the $75,000 needed to purchase a handicapped accessible van. His father, Vincent and his family sought individual donations for the vehicle. Insurance paid for the $35,000 wheelchair.

Born in Chelmsford, Boshar graduated from Chelmsford High in 2004. He received a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2009. Boshar was an underwriter at Boston Capital, a real estate investment company.

Coworkers at Boston Capital, Inc. have been with Boshar during the difficult journey. After the accident, they paid for an air ambulance to take him from Boston to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta. They have also held fundraisers.

This past April, Boshar was able to get a service dog — a black Labrador retriever named Roddy — with help from Andover Animal Hospital. Hospital owner Diane Tower raised $5,000 through donations, bake sales and selling pet-supply products from a store that had closed. The other $5,000 needed was raised by local residents who donated from $25 to $1,500.

Roddy walks alongside Boshar as he goes on a 1-mile walk daily in his wheelchair. He also takes the dog to his physical training appointments and shopping trips with his home health aide.

“The support network is unbelievable and overwhelming. My optimism is empowered by them and restores my faith in humanity,” he said.

Boshar said the only way to repay all he has received is by “paying it forward.” This includes contacting family members of people who recently suffered spinal cord injuries, donating a portion of his proceeds to other causes and raising awareness about the injury at schools and service organizations.

He is also working on his own story based on what he learned from an older family friend, his maternal and paternal grandfathers.

“They are life lessons through the eyes of these three wise men. They taught me what matters most in life, which impacted me greatly and has helped me get through this,” Boshar said.

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