SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Kaiden Cowan and his Lightning sled hockey teammates are back on the ice ready for another season of competition across the Midwest.
For the soon to be 10-year-old, gliding back and forth on the frozen sheet has never felt so good because this season he’s piloting a brand-new sled.
“It’s way more better and way more comfortable and everyone’s sled is different,” said Kaiden.
To really understand just how much better, you need to go to a different type of ice.
Sled hockey is an adaptive sport for kids and adults with physical disabilities like Kaiden who has Cerebral Palsy. Last summer, while waiting to get back on the ice, he decided it was time for a new sled and money collected at a neighborhood lemonade stand would help pay the way.
“Mom basically talked me into it,” said Kaiden.
Neighbors and complete strangers stopped by to grab a cup and lend some support. In all, Kaiden collected $2,300 dollars on that sunny July day, more than enough for a sled. But unbeknownst to him, a social media post by the Sioux City Musketeers had already secured funding for a new sled.
“We put it on our social media, and I got a DM from Ted Colley, owner of Prodigy Sports. Ted said I want to buy him a new sled. I want to see him play hockey,” said Travis Morgan, CEO of the Musketeers.
Suddenly Kaiden not only had a new sled, but also money to help with travel and equipment costs this season. When the sled arrived several weeks later, Musketeer’s equipment manager, Damon Wheeler, was there to help make it rink ready.
“I can’t say I’ve ever sharpened something like this, but it will be special getting the chance,” said Wheeler.
Kaiden wasted no time putting it to use.
“We figured he’d make a couple hundred dollars and mom and dad would help fill in and this has been absolutely amazing. Once he’s older and understands, oh my goodness,” said Kaiden’s mom Tashsa.
“Look where this got me. Look where my life became a lot more awesome, a lot more cool. I didn’t even know sled hockey was a thing,” said Kaiden.
Proving again that when you get handed lemons, you make lemonade because you never know who might be thirsty.