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Clayton Gerein 1964-2010 RIP my friend…

Posted on January 23rd, by Josh Cassidy in wheelchair racing. 5 comments

ClaytonClayton Gerein.. a legendary quadriplegic racer, a husband and father, a friend… a beautiful human being. We love you Clay and we are going to miss you.

Clayton was diagnosed with cancer a month ago, suffering from two brain tumors. He passed away at the age of 45.  The news came too fast for me.  Clayton was good hearted, funny, a wonderful person.  I will never forget a long drive home from Nationals in Windsor a few years ago. It was one of the most times I have ever connected with an individual. I knew Clay for years before but never had spent as much time with him.  He had a speaking engagement in Mississauga and there was some issue with his flight, so we crammed everything in my car and hit the road. We chatted most of the way, and for some moments we just looked out the window at the beautiful sunny day… the most comfortable silence I’ve ever experienced.  I don’t remember feeling so relaxed with an individual before. I remember specifically looking up at the clouds at some point, admiring the beautiful day, the big blue sky, and I silently thanked God for that drive.. for the company of a guy like Clay, the opportunity to talk about the things we talked about, and the peace between two people on the open road.. I somehow knew it would not be a trip I would forget, even though it was only 4 or 5 hours. He could make you feel like you were his son, his brother, and most definitely his friend.  Clayton was so easy going, funny in a cynical way, but never really judgemental.. he saw the world for what it was, and accepted it.  Didn’t stop him from scrunching up his face in his trademark expression and cursing at a wide variety of things.. but it was never over something that would get you fired up or angry, it was always about something that would make you laugh.

He was a marathon man who competed in SEVEN Paralympic Games, and I don’t even know how many medals he won. In his older age, he fought harder than anyone to still get on those teams.  He always gave everything in a race, no matter what. While he was contemplating retirement recently, the racing community was very sad to hear we would be losing him.. though we did not think it would be like this.  Always a fighter, Clayton will live on… doing whatever he wants to do.  Though I would like to think he will find some rest and peace, he will always be stirring somewhere… most definitely in our hearts anyway.  We love you Clay and we will miss you… you are in everyone’s hearts and on everyone’s minds here in Oz.  I’ll see you for the 10k on Tuesday.. I guess you will be making it.

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  • carl marquis

    Yes a realllllll good guy
    Yes for sure
    When i’m closing my eyes..
    I see a big smile or hearing a strang and nice laughing
    Or a good joke
    Or see a great performance after a big pain during warm weather with a little (LOL) spot of glyster on his nose…
    But a win ….for sure win ….and dont forget he still pushing for good things up there.

    For ever My friend Clayt
    Carl :-)

  • carl marquis

    G’day Mate
    Push for him Josh down there

    I’m sure he will be proud of you our Mate Clayt

    Carl :-)

  • Marc Quessy

    man i ain’nt got no words.Few minutes ago Diane Roy told me about ClayT. i beg you to convey my regards to his family and relatives.
    salut mon chum
    Marc Quessy

  • Justin Rayner

    Hey josh im a fellow quad. i was doing a documentary on wheelchair accessiblity and Clayton did an interveiw for me about 3 weeks before he passed, so i decided to turn it into a documentary about his life and how he helped so many of us. i was wondering if you could contact me @ or if youd be interested in doing a statement or something for it about clayton! let me know man

    rip my friend, miss you**

  • Treadmill Traci

    That was a very touching post! I never new clayton but after reading this I feel like I did. He sounds like an awesome person, i’m sorry for your loss.