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Hockey’s youngest commentator covers games for one special fan: his blind dad.

What happens when vision loss changes the way we enjoy our favorite sport?

Hockey’s youngest commentator covers games for one special fan: his blind dad.
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As any sports fan knows, love of the game can run pretty deep.

There are player names to memorize, stats to learn, jerseys to collect, and of course, games to watch. For many families, loving a sport or a team brings them together. Parents and kids pile onto the couch or into the arena to watch games as a group.

Gerry Nelson has always enjoyed watching hockey. But things got a little trickier when blindness made it so he couldn't watch the game he loves.


Gerry wasn't always blind. But after years of ignoring his childhood diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes, he lost his sight at age 25. "I lost my parents when I was very young, and I didn’t look after myself in my late-teens and 20s," Gerry said. "I didn't get the education I needed around how important health is when you're diabetic. But now I’ve turned it all around."

Losing his sight hasn't kept Gerry from living a full life. He's become an accomplished golfer. He also is an active father to his son, Wyatt, who is now 12 years old. "In reality," Gerry said, "he's more 12 going on 30."

Two things are forever true about Gerry and Wyatt Nelson's relationship. They've always been close, and they've always loved hockey.

Gerry Nelson and Wyatt Nelson-Zook in 2009. Image courtesy of Gerry Nelson, used with permission.

When Wyatt was 5 years old, they started attending hockey games together, mostly the local WHL team the Saskatoon Blades. Wyatt would watch the action on the ice, and Gerry would follow along listening to the live play-by-play broadcast on a local radio station.  

Their system worked perfectly — until the night they attended a preseason game the radio station wasn't covering. Gerry was happy to sit in the arena alongside his son, but Wyatt wanted to give him a better experience. So, he started narrating the action on the ice, emulating the play-by-play announcers hockey fans know so well. Through Wyatt's words, Gerry was able to see the action as well as he could have with sight.

From that night onward, Gerry hasn't needed his radio when he and Wyatt go to games together. Wyatt's play-by-play is enough.

“Sometimes when he is doing something with me I feel like I am taking him away from his time with his friends,” Gerry told an interviewer late last year. “But he says, ‘No, Dad, I love doing it and I want to do it.’”

Gerry and Wyatt's story started making waves in Canadian media last December. As it turned out, some folks in the NHL were following along.

Over the last year, they've had some incredible experiences thanks to hockey fans who've been inspired by their story. They've attended a Stanley Cup final game, gone to the NHL Player Awards in Las Vegas and met some of their heroes on and off the ice.

Wyatt even did play-by-play announcing for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals on a local radio station in St Louis. "He did 17 minutes of the first 20-minute period," Gerry said proudly. "The more and more he does, the better he gets at it."

By far the most emotional moment for the two came last spring when a news crew visiting Saskatoon brought a special surprise to the local arena for the Nelson boys.

Hidden in a distant room at the rink was hockey's greatest trophy: the Stanley Cup. It's a huge piece of hardware, standing nearly three-feet-high and weighing 34.5 pounds. For fans, it's especially magnificent.

Wyatt Nelson-Zook with the Stanley Cup. Image by Gerry Nelson, used with permission.

Gerry and Wyatt got to experience the cup in a way few people do — just the two of them.

"Growing up on the streets of North Battleford, our Stanley Cup was an aluminum garbage can," said Gerry. "All of a sudden, I was realizing that it was my son and I, alone — no one else in the room with the Stanley Cup. It was one of the most amazing feelings. I was able to put my hands on it, without 200 other people in the room at the same time. That’s when it really started to hit home and got pretty emotional for me."

All of these incredible moments, shared with the sport they love, haven't changed Gerry or Wyatt one bit.

Wyatt and Gerry hold the Stanley Cup. Image by Gerry Nelson, used with permission.

When the big moments are over and the Stanley Cup has been put back in its case, Gerry and Wyatt Nelson still have their remarkable connection — and the game that brought it to light.

"The perfect thing is the quality and type of relationship that Wyatt and I have," said Nelson. "It wouldn’t matter if it was a peewee game on the local outdoor rinks or the Saskatoon Blades or an NHL game in the big city. Nothing could make it better because I’m already spending this wonderful time hanging out with Wyatt, sharing our love of hockey. For him and me, the blindness doesn’t figure into it. Wyatt does what he does because Dad’s Dad and Dad can’t see."

As for all the kudos Wyatt has received for his play-by-play announcing skills, Gerry says he'll leave it up to his son to decide if that's something he wants to do. "So far Wyatt's [wanted to be] a baseball player and a hockey player and a firefighter. I know for me it took a lot of trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, and he's got a lot of time to figure things out," said Nelson. "I’ll support Wyatt in anything and everything he wants to do. If he opted to go that route, I would support him. After all, I'd get to go to a lot more NHL games!"

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2020 was difficult (to say the least). The year was full of life changes, losses, and lessons as we learned to navigate the "new normal." You may have questions about what the changes and challenges of 2020 mean for your taxes. That's where TurboTax Live comes in, making it easy to connect with real tax experts to help with your taxes – or even do them for you, start to finish.

Not only has TurboTax Live helped millions of people get their taxes done right, but this year they've also celebrated people who uplifted their communities during a difficult time by surprising them with "little lifts" to help out even more.

Here are a few of their stories:


Julz, hairdresser and salon owner

"As a hairdresser and salon owner, 2020 was extremely challenging," says Julz. "Being a hairdresser has historically been a recession-proof industry, but we've never faced global shut down due to health risk, or pandemic, not in my lifetime. And for the first time, hairdressers didn't have job security."

Julz had to shut down her salon and go on unemployment benefits for the first time. She also had to figure out how she was going to support herself, her staff and her business during this difficult time. But many other beauty industry professionals didn't have access to the resources they needed, so Julz decided to help.

"My business partner and I began teaching basic financial literacy to other beauty industry professionals," she says. "Transitioning our business from behind the chair to an online academy was a challenge we tackled head-on so that we could move hairdressers into this new space of education, and create a more accessible curriculum to better serve our industry.

Julz connected with a TurboTax Live expert who helped her understand how unemployment affected her taxes and gave her guidance on filing quarterly estimated taxes for her small business. "I was terrified to sit at a computer and tackle this mess of receipts," Julz says, so "it was great to have some virtual handholding to walk me through each question."

In addition to giving Julz the personalized tax advice she needed, TurboTax Live surprised her with a "little lift" that empowered her to help even more beauty professionals. "When my tax expert Diana surprised me with a little lift, I was moved to tears," says Julz. "With that little lift, I was able to establish a scholarship fund to help get other hairdressers the education they deserve."


Alana, new mom

Alana welcomed her first child in 2020. "I think my biggest challenge was figuring out how to be a mom, with no guidance," she says. "My original plan was to have my mom by my side, teaching me the ropes, but because of COVID, she wasn't able to come out here."

She was also without a job for most of 2020 and struggled to find something new.

So, Alana took it as a sign: she decided to launch her own business so she could support her new baby, and that's exactly what she did. She started a feel-good company that specializes in creating affirmation card decks — and she's currently in the process of starting a second, video-editing business.

TurboTax Live answered Alana's questions about her taxes and gave her some much-needed advice as she prepared to launch her businesses. Thanks to their "little lift," they provided her with a little emotional support too.

"I got my mom a plane ticket to finally [have her] meet [my daughter] for her first birthday," Alana says. "I was also able to get a new computer," which helped her invest in her new business and work on her video editing skills. "It's helped my family and me so much," she says.


Michael, science teacher

When schools shut down across the country last year, Michael had to learn how to adapt to a virtual classroom.

"As a teacher, I had to completely revamp everything," he says, so that he could keep his students engaged while teaching online. "At the beginning, it was a nightmare because I had no idea. I had to go from A-Z within a couple of weeks."

Michael's TurboTax Live expert answered his questions about how working from home affected his taxes and helped him uncover surprising tax deductions. To top it all off, his expert surprised him with brand new science equipment and supplies, which allowed him to create an entire line of classes on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. "Now I can truly potentially reach millions of children with my lessons," he says. "I would never have taken that leap if not for the little lift from TurboTax Live."



Ricky, motivational youth speaker

As a motivational speaker, Ricky was used to doing his job in person, but, he says, "when COVID-19 hit, it altered my ability to travel and visit schools in person [because] schools moved to fully virtual or hybrid models."

He knew he had to pivot — so he began offering small virtual group workshops for student leadership groups at middle and high schools.

"This allowed me to work with student leaders to plan how they would continue making a positive impact on their school community," he says. He wasn't sure how being remote would affect his taxes, but TurboTax Live Self-Employed gave him the advice and answers that he needed to keep more money in his pocket at tax time — and the little lift he received from them has helped him serve even more students.

"[It] has been a major blessing," he says "There will be multiple schools and student groups from across the country that I can hold leadership workshops with to empower them with the tools to be inspirational leaders in their school, community, and world."

Plus, he says, it was great knowing he had an expert to help him figure out how being remote affected his taxes. "I felt confident and assured in the process of filing my taxes knowing I had an expert working with me, says Ricky. "There were things my expert knew that I would not have considered when filing on my own."

Filing your taxes doesn't have to be intimidating, especially after a year like 2020. TurboTax Live experts can give you the "little lift" you need to get your taxes done. File with the help of an expert or let an expert file for you! Go to TurboTax Live to get started.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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