|Photo Description: a well used wheelchair that is missing one arm rest and where there are noticeable tears on the seat.|
We went to the Disability Expo in Toronto a couple of weeks ago and I was pushing by a vendor who had very cool looking chairs. He and I talked for quite a bit and then he let me sit in a chair a size down from mine and 7 years newer. A lot has happened to wheelchairs in seven years. I made the transfer and then pushed. It was smooooooth. I was immediately struck by how easy it was to get around. My chair is wider, heavier and is hard to push partly because it's old and tired.
This was amazing.
It, of course, is wildly expensive. I can't afford it. So that means a long process of applying for government funds to help me get the chair. I want that exact chair. It fit me well and it increased my ability to get around. It's also made of carbon fiber which, I'm told is stronger than steel, but it's very light. Joe loved it because he could lift it with no effort at all.
So the process begins.
It's hard knowing there is something you need but that it will take months and months to go through the process. But it helps that I love this old chair, I love where it's taken me, I love what it's allowed me to do.
Let the assessments begin.
Dave, have you considered crowdfunding for it? You have a lot of followers on your blog, people who admire your work and might be happy to support you. Lots of people making a small donation can make a big difference.
Dave, I was going to suggest crowdfunding as well. I’m sure you would have the money in no time. It would give hundreds of people an opportunity to give back to you. I hope you will consider it. I’d be happy to organise.
Ditto Louise's suggestion of crowd-funding. Helping to support your work in the world (and support Joe's work as well) would be an honor.
And your old chair is like a pair of workboots that have served you long and well. The stories it knows...of the miles you have traveled. It is part of you...and has served you very well.
Even a Donate button on your site - or a Paypal account. I'd love to contribute.
The carbon fiber stuff is amazing. I have leg braces that weigh nothing.
I just got a new wheelchair, which means I am finally able to go out on my own. I was lucky, my Dad got a settlement from an accident and he insisted on giving me the money I needed. It would have taken me at least another four years to save up for it, and that would have meant spending absolutely no money for those years. My new chair has an incredibly light frame, it was purpose built for me so it’s exactly the dimensions that make pushing it comfortable and easy, and best of all it has Power Assist wheels which mean I can push it for miles, up steep hills, on slanted pavements. Before I could only push my chair for very short distances unless the surface I was pushing on was almost completely flat. I would get tired and in pain and the nerve damage in my right arm would flare up leaving me unable to grip with that hand. Before last November I had left my home on my own twice in 5 years, and that was to go 100m there and back to the postbox. Today I travelled from the South East of England to the North East of Scotland on my own! It was a 8 hour train journey, with two changes and then I had to get myself a mile to my hotel. It was exhilarating to do that all my own. I hope your new chair brings you the same feeling that mine has.
Go Fund Me dude. You're loved and respected. You'd probably get enough money for a couple chairs. Ain't kiddin'.
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