Published Sep 24, 2014
Chase Masterson & Scott Palm Guest Blog: In Real Life
Chase Masterson & Scott Palm Guest Blog: In Real Life
By Chase Masterson & Scott Palm
As you well know, we have Star Trek: #TOS, Star Trek: #TNG, Star Trek: #DS9, Star Trek: #VOY, and Star Trek: #ENT. I’m going to propose we create the next journey ourselves, and call it Star Trek: #IRL. Read on, and you’ll see what I mean…
Sometimes an opportunity falls in your lap that’s just too much fun to pass up.
Yep, I’m talkin’ about a trip to Vegas, baby.
But this was no ordinary Vegas trip, nor was it simply about Creation Entertainment’s Official Star Trek Las Vegas Convention, an annual Trek mecca that pretty much none of us would want to miss. I’m talking about the fun in the chance to help somebody get to the con who would never otherwise have gone.
What a very “Star Trek” lesson that is.
I kept in touch with Scott via email and phone, and in those weeks and months of getting to know him, I learned that he’s a business owner, training caregivers to work with disabled people. He’s dry-witted and can be very funny. And when Scott puts his mind to something within his reach, chances are, it will probably happen.
So when Scott asked me to help him put together a plan to attend the Vegas con, I was ready to help. I asked him to create a budget, which he did, stat. He researched fundraising sites and finally found the one that would take the least percentage. I researched several Make-A-Wish type foundations, and we made some approaches, but no luck. Scott received some money from family, but our combined total wasn’t nearly enough.
Then the company that makes his communication device offered to donate matching funds. So I put the word out to ChaseClub -- an extraordinarily loyal and sweet bunch -- and donations started rolling in.
More inspiring yet, Scott earned money to pitch in, traveling more than 200 miles around the state of Washington to give his disability awareness classes.
Scott took initiative to reserve flights, rooms, ground transport and necessary equipment for him and his caregivers. I helped him handle a few logistics…
And the fun began.
And what happened in Vegas isn’t staying in Vegas; in addition to great memories, Scott made a whole new group of friends, both in Vegas and online, through this process. I’ll let Scott tell you the bulk of the Vegas story in his own words, but I’ll leave you with this:
People ask me what I’m a geek about. And sometimes I feel left out of conversations in geekdom, because I don’t get a chance to watch every episode of any show, and there are lots of popular movies I miss. What do I love to geek out about? Lending a hand where I can.
Don’t get me wrong. Great stories are essential to our lives. But let’s not just watch them. Let’s make them come alive in real life. Let’s boldly go and do things that spread encouragement and healing, and that make life better for people who have it tough. You can do this, every day. To start, simply keep your eyes open.
Be the Captain of your own ship in this way, and I promise you, you’ll have voyages #IRL you will never forget.
The Star Trek Las Vegas Convention 2014 was beyond everything I ever had read about previous years. This might be an obvious statement, because it was my first con in Las Vegas. As soon as I left the Vegas airport, I could feel the 100 degree heat, but I also could feel excitement.
When I arrived at the hotel, I was escorted to Chase Masterson’s Q & A. She was wonderful. But I am biased. I had met Chase on August 24, 2013 at Star Trek Seattle convention. My sister and I went to the convention because it was my belated birthday present. We were outside of the vendor’s room talking. Chase happened to be walking by, and my communication device caught her eye. She asked what it was, and I told her. From that chance meeting, we became friends.
At midnight, I attended a midnight premiere of a fan film. While I waited for it, I was people watching and who did I see? Michael Dorn! My caregiver and I freaked out. Rod Roddenberry walked right by me minutes later. My communication device caught his eye. I took the opportunity to ask him if he would have time next day for me to tell him something. He said yes.
The con was full of attendees and cosplayers. The sessions were interesting, and I had never seen so many stars in one place before.
Then I went to a photo op with Kate Mulgrew. Janeway was like my grandmother. When I was born in Wisconsin, my doctor said I would get better care in Seattle. So my Grandmother and Grandfather packed up and moved with me. They didn’t know what to expect, just like Janeway, being far away from the Federation.
I also got to see Kate when she was in the dealers’ room…
Next day, my caregivers and I stopped and took pictures with people in costume.
The Star Trek Las Vegas Convention 2014 was beyond everything that I ever had read, all right. It had benefits I never could think of. I achieved my personal goals, made new friends and created many good memories.
Scott’s caregiver, Nicollette Cook, summed up Scott’s experience:
“Having the privilege of supporting Scott during the Star Trek convention was a reaffirmation of everything we do as caregivers. Our goal is always to do the best we can to further the potential and independence of those we serve. Scott, with the help of Chase Masterson, was able to come up with the goal of going to the Star Trek convention in Las Vegas. Chase's friendship, encouragement, and help, as well as the support of his staff, made it clear to Scott that his goal was something he could achieve.
Hopefully, Scott’s experience will help remind others that having disabilities does not mean that you can only do certain things. It may mean that you will need a little help, but the most important thing you need is the desire to reach your goals.”