By WENDY FOSTER | Diveheart in Depth
It seemed like divine providence. Ten years ago, Scott Alm of West Chicago was in a serious motorcycle accident from which he walked away unscathed. “I was pondering why God saved me, and a show about Diveheart came on TV. It hit me like a lightning bolt. Diveheart was it,” he recalled. “Miraculously, there was a dive buddy certification course in the next several weeks. I took that course and tried to make it to every dive event that I possibly could going forward.” Alm subsequently became an advanced adaptive buddy, a lead divemaster candidate, and an active volunteer with Diveheart.
Diveheart, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, provides scuba diving instruction and opportunities for children and adults with disabilities and wounded veterans. Diveheart’s office is located in Downers Grove, and the organization has chapters around the world.
Alm said he tries to help out at as many Chicago-area events as possible, and also travels with Diveheart at least once each year. His “specialty” at Diveheart is helping divers with quadriplegia who require full-face masks for scuba diving.
Alm was first introduced to adaptive sports through participating with his daughter Ava who has spina bifida and paraplegia. “We’ve enjoyed getting out to play. We’ve skied all over the world, ridden bikes, played sled hockey and wheelchair basketball, and climbed Camel Back Mountain,” he said.
His passion for working with individuals with disabilities extends to other organizations in addition to Diveheart. “I volunteer for Adaptive Adventures as a sit-ski instructor and bike wrangler, and the American Blind Skiing Foundation as a ski guide. His vision, he said, is what he thinks of as (the unofficial) Top o’ the Mountain, Bottom o’ the Ocean Club. “I want to open the whole world up to all people, from the top of the mountain to the bottom of the sea. One of my core goals, to build confidence and enhance the flat-out-fun of knowing that you can go anywhere and do anything in the world. It’s life-changing.”
For additional information on Diveheart, visit www.Diveheart.org.