Upward Mobility

The Wheel Deal
by JAK ‘s guest mom blogger from Kenosha, Wendy Woods

It was the morning of August 2009, and my 2 1/2 year old son and I were waiting for his physical therapist and the medical equipment company. My son was going to try out a powered wheelchair for the first time. Yes, I said powered wheelchair. I was dreading this day and here it was. READ MORE…

I’ve known for a while that my son was going to have difficulty walking on his own but I had always hoped and prayed that with a lot of physical therapy he would eventually walk. I remembered waking up and thinking that I had failed him somehow. That I was letting him down. If only he had been diagnosed earlier and started physical therapy earlier, we wouldn’t be here waiting for a powered wheelchair trial. What I thought was going to be the worst day of my life turned out to be the best.

When Nicholas got in the chair, he grabbed the joystick and moved about a foot, his face lit up. He couldn’t believe he moved on his own, free from mom and dad. He pointed towards the neighbor’s house. All that was needed was a little prompt from us to move the joystick forward again and he was off. For the first time I was running after my son, something all mothers of toddlers do. I had thought I would never get the opportunity. I will never forget the look on his face that day. It was the look of sheer joy. He was free. That was when I realized that one of the most important jobs I had as a mother was to give my child independence. That powered chair gave him that. I have never regretted the decision to purchase the powered chair for my son. Nor have we given up hope of him walking one day, having the chair did not mean he would stop working towards that goal.

That 2 1/2 year old boy is now 5 years old and having his own powered wheelchair has opened up his world. Now he wants to explore areas other than our neighborhood, school and medical buildings. As a parent of a child who has a mobility disability, I want to provide him with the same experiences that my non-disabled child has.

We have entered a contest to win a wheelchair accessible van. All we need to win is your vote. I hope that you will take some time out of your day to vote for us. A van that is wheelchair accessible would give us the ability to safely transport my family and my son’s wheelchair. Right now we are driving a van that is 10 years old and cannot be modified for wheelchair accessibility. Wheelchair accessible vans are very expensive and we have had to make due with what we’ve got. We’ve removed the back bench in our van and bought a heavy and quite awkward portable ramp, so that we can transport his chair to and from school, medical appointments and close family functions. While the portable ramp has given us the ability to bring his wheelchair places, we are realizing that it isn’t the most ideal nor safe way of traveling. His wheelchair is placed into the back of the van behind the middle seat. Since it isn’t adaptable, his wheelchair cannot be tied down. Even with the chair’s brakes on it moves around the back of the van while we are driving. This is not safe. We have limited our trips to only the essential ones. We would love to go on longer trips. Having a wheelchair accessible van would give us one less thing to worry about. We could expand our destinations from just routine trips to fun family excursions-knowing that we are safe and that my son will have his wheelchair with him.

Use the link below to cast your vote for us. You may vote once every 24 hours from the same ip address-contest ends May 13. Use promo code 889, to earn us 4 extra votes. The code can only be used once.

http://www.nmeda.com/mobility-awareness-month/heroes/wisconsin/kenosha/126/wendy-woods

Thank you very much, Wendy.

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3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    mollie said,

    My vote is in! I will spread the word!


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