'It's all about gratitude': Graham Cross will thank North Shore Rescue with fundraiser concert

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      If there’s one thing Graham Cross feels toward the volunteers from North Shore Rescue, it’s gratitude.

      It’s been four months since Cross fell off a 12-metre cliff in the dark during a camping trip on Bowen Island, breaking his foot, as well as vertebrae in his back and neck. Cross also sustained a laceration to his skull, and a brain injury.

      On the phone with the Straight earlier this week, Cross said he can’t really recall why he left his tent, set up on near Apodaca Provincial Park, in the middle of the night. All he remembers is waking up in the water, waves crashing, and knowing that if he didn’t move quickly, he would drown.

      Scrambling up to a rocky ledge, Cross waited for six hours, trying to signal nearby boats and hollering for help from his friends who were camped above him.

      A friend spotted Cross around 9:30 a.m. and called 9-1-1. Ambulance services arrived, but soon called for assistance from volunteers at North Shore Rescue as it became apparent that he needed to be airlifted to safety.

      Attaching Cross to a specialized stretcher, the team called to his location used a longline attached to a helicopter to pull him from his perch on the cliff and to a nearby park, where an ambulance was waiting to take Cross to Lions Gate Hospital.

      Cross was airlifted to a nearby park, where he was then taken by amublance to Lions Gate Hospital, where he spent 12 days.
      North Shore Rescue

      “He was in a body cast for months,” says Kevin Gau, a close friend of Cross’s, who will be playing with his band, Raccoon Deathmatch, at a fundraiser show Cross is throwing on Saturday (December 3) for North Shore Rescue.

      Cross says since the accident, he’s rewired his attitude to focus on one thing: being thankful.

      “It’s all about gratitude, and appreciation for the people that made it happen,” Cross says. “There have been a lot of people reaching out and giving me a hand; my friends, my family, everyone that has helped me since I fell, and especially the guys at North Shore Rescue.”

      Saturday’s aptly named Life on a Line fundraiser show will feature six local bands and a DJ. Tighty Whitey and The Burnt X’s, Cylord Originals, Jesse Stewart, Cat Adams, Derek Pitts, and Raccoon Deathmatch will all take to the stage, with KimmyK working the tables.

      “It’ll be a great mix of punk, gypsy punk, some rock ‘n’ roll, blue grass, and cover tunes,” Cross says of the event.

      In addition, 30 Vancouver artists have donated works for a silent auction. Cross will also hold a 50/50 draw, and he says there will be plenty of door prizes and giveaways.

      Everything goes down on Saturday at the Grandview Legion (2205 Commercial Drive). Cross says the venue has already donated $1,000 to the cause.

      Entry will be by donation, with a recommended minimum of $10. All proceeds will go to North Shore Rescue.