A brave man, a heart-warming story
Rick Rutter joined the Polaris team as a highway driver January 6, 2008. His last day of driving his 2012 T700 Kenworth was May 29, 2015. After 4 years of testing, Rick was diagnosed with ALS in March of this year. The disease affects your strength, speech and motor skills and Rick knew when it was interfering with his ability to drive safely and he asked to retire.
Rick started driving truck professionally at the age of 18. At that time, all that was required was a chauffeur’s license. For most of his career, he was a long haul driver and away from his wife and children for weeks at a time. He’s hauled Brahma bulls from Mexico, explosives to northern Alberta and Superior Propane through the Rockies and that’s just a few of the hundreds of adventures from his 42 year professional driving career.
Rick was originally referred to Polaris by one of his long time neighbours. Rick was in his early fifties at the time and wanted to be home with his family more often. Dave Cox comments, “Rick started off running Jersey, then Chicago and eventually became our go to guy on just about every lane we have. He did the first run for our enhanced California service this past spring and over his time with us became a trusted employee and good friend.”
Rick resides in Vienna, a small community near Tillsonburg, ON. He lives there with his wife of 32 years, Wendy and children Jessy, Travis and Reba. Rick also has 3 children from a previous relationship who also reside in the area, Lisa, Jamie and Crystal. Rick speaks about his battle with ALS, “It was definitely a curve ball I didn’t expect. It shares symptoms with other diseases so that is why it was so hard to diagnose in the early stages. It can be hereditary but mine is not and is called Sporadic ALS. I am blessed to have my family beside me and the friendship of the folks at Polaris to help me through this. I don’t know what I would do without them.”
Asked about his career at Polaris Rick said, “I loved it there. Instead of being away for 3 weeks at a time and never knowing what laid ahead, I was able to organize my week and make plans with family on my weekends. Polaris knew they could count on me to get the job done and Dave Cox and his dad were great guys to work for. They are supporting a walkathon in September in my honour. I wish I could have got a few more years in but if there is one thing you learn as a driver, there are always tough hills to climb somewhere on your journey.”
Details about The ALS Walkathon
Polaris Transportation will be participating in the 2015 WALK for ALS in Brampton Sept 12th and your support will make a difference for Ontario families just like Rick’s whose lives have been touched by ALS.
It is our hope that you will consider sponsoring Polaris with your best gift possible in a secure online donation using your credit card. Please click on the link below to donate now…
For more information on how YOU can become a walker yourself, please visit www.walkforals.ca/ontario
Team Rick – Polaris Transportation