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30Sep/14Off

Make-A-Wish Helps Family Receive a Van

Thanks so much to Make-A-Wish of Chicago for helping this local Marengo Illinois family with an accessible van. This smiling little girl who is on a ventilator suffers from a seizure disorder. With three growing boys and their disabled daughter it became impossible for the family to go anywhere. The father works three jobs and the mother stays at home as a full-time caregiver for their daughter.

Their wish was to make things a little easier and safer for their little girl. Their current minivan was not accessible and had well over 200,000 miles on it. Make-A-Wish began a three month process to try and grant this wish for them.

This weekend their wish came true! Not only did they receive a much easier way to transport their daughter, the family now has safe mobility. Make a Wish of Chicago, MobilityWorks of Plainfield and local vendors brought cake, pizza and gifts for the boys.

Thanks also to all the neighbors and friends that came and celebrated the delivery of the new van.

MobilityWorks is proud to work with great people to find the perfect solution for families like these.

 

25Sep/14Off

Beyond Boundaries Program

MobilityWorks Supports the Spinal Cord Injury Association of Illinois’ Beyond Boundaries Program

The Beyond Boundaries Outdoor Adventure Program is a progressive recreational program offered by Adaptive Adventures and the Spinal Cord Injury Association of Illinois. The program consists of three days and two nights of activities that bring together individuals with spinal cord injuries.

Beyond Boundaries utilizes camping, hiking, cycling, kayaking, rock climbing, and other outdoor activities as tools to promote exercise, learning and socializing with peers.

Athletes with spinal cord injuries use standard equipment as well as specialized gear and techniques adapted for each activity. Able-bodied participants are also given the chance to try the adapted techniques in order to gain a better understanding of the challenges involved and to demonstrate the "abilities", rather than the "disabilities", of the participants.

MobilityWorks was proud to be a part of a recent Beyond Boundaries camp outing in Savannah, IL.

24Sep/14Off

Neighbor Donates Accessible Minivan

Izzy Penston has Friedreich's ataxia, a debilitating, degenerative neuro-muscular disorder. She can no longer walk without assistance.

One of the Prenston's neighbors, Brad Barnett, owner of the OneToyota dealership in Oakland heard about Izzy. "I've seen them and know them and when I saw that there was a need, it was something we are really passionate about," said Barnett.

MobilityWorks was pleased to work with Barnett and ToyotaOne to provide a mobility vehicle for the Prenston family. The vehicle was presented to the family at AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, just before the start of the game. Channel 7 covered the event and aired it that evening. Here is the footage: http://abc7news.com/305248/ Well done, OneToyota in Oakland, California! We look forward to providing excellent service for their mobility needs!

For more information about OneToyota, please click here.

16Sep/14Off

MobilityWorks Launches New Emergency Roadside Assistance Program for Its Wheelchair Van Clients

ProtectionWorks™ Includes Accessible Transportation to a Safe Destination

For most of our clients who use a wheelchair for mobility, dealing with an inoperable vehicle or bring stuck in a snow drift is a much more stressful situation than for an able-bodied person. That’s because if the vehicle needs to be towed, getting to a destination may mean not having access to an adaptive vehicle equipped with a wheelchair ramp or lift. Getting stuck "inside" the vehicle is also a real concern. That’s why MobilityWorks developed a unique roadside assistance program, with the help of its business partner Anchor Solutions, to address this very need. Anchor has over 35,000 tow providers in their network to offer quick roadside assistance in every state of the country.

With ProtectionWorks™, the trade name created for the program, clients are covered with traditional roadside emergency assistance such as towing, out of fuel, flat tire and battery jump-starting assistance. The difference is that they are also covered with getting accessible transportation to a safe destination for up to 25 miles from where their vehicle had to be towed. The program will also dispatch technicians to address the needs of a lift or ramp not deploying — or a technician to help with a mobility device not working properly, such as a power wheelchair or scooter. Clients now purchasing new or used handicap vans will be offered the program, in addition to clients that have purchased a vehicle in the past.

“ProtectionWorks provides peace of mind for our clients to know that should something go wrong, it will be easier for them to get the help they need" — Bill Koeblitz, MobilityWorks President/CEO.

MobilityWorksTV - the Place to Go for Informative Videos

A video highlighting the features of the new program can be seen on the ProtectionWorks web page. Go to www.mobilityworks.com/roadside to watch the video and to get more information on becoming a member. To view all of our videos, including product demonstrations and client testimonials in our "Reel Stories" series, go to YouTube MobilityWorks TV here.

 

 

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10Sep/14Off

Kyla Gets Her Wheelchair Van!

Kyla Hartigan celebrates with her new Chrysler Town & Country accessible minivan at the MobilityWorks of Plainfield store.

She didn’t win the contest but she won a lot of hearts

Eight year old Kyla Hartigan was born 12 weeks premature, spent 16 weeks in the NICU and fought every day to stay with us. As a result of her prematurity, she was diagnosed with Quadriplegic Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy. Her family had been using a hoist-style lift in their van to pick up and transport her 240 pound K300 Permobil power wheelchair. Her mother Margie would pick up Kyla to get her transferred, seated and buckled in. This solution worked for a few years, but as Kyla kept getting older, their need for a wheelchair accessible van kept getting greater.

In May of 2013, the family learned about the National Mobility Awareness Month Van Giveaway contest by NMEDA* where three lucky winners would be given a van. Kyla entered the essay contest and made it as a semi-finalist in the online voting process.

Margie Hartigan wrote in her first essay:

“What most people take for granted, like a quick trip to the store, is so time consuming for us. Sometimes her chair can’t even travel with us and she has to be carried. A wheelchair accessible vehicle would be life-changing for this little girl who inspires so many others.”

Unfortunately, Kyla did not when the van. The family decided to hold off one more year to find another solution since mom could still pick up her daughter. Not to be deterred, they decided to enter the NMEDA sponsored contest in 2014. Again, they made it as a semi-finalist but were not chosen not win a vehicle. Ugh!

During this time, they were making a lot more connections within the community. Margie “liked” a Facebook page about a clothing company that uses kids with disabilities to model for their clothing. The owner of the company contacted Margie and asked her to bring Kyla to their farm. The owners immediately fell in love with Kyla and spent hours talking to her about everything under the sun. After they found out about her not winning the contest, the clothing company owners wanted to help Kyla and her family. They were so in love with Kyla and her family that they decided to purchase her a new van.

Not knowing where to start, they first contacted a Dodge dealership to purchase them a new minivan and wheelchair lift. The Dodge dealer then contacted MobilityWorks to get pricing on the lift. Nick Cortino, the General Manager of our Plainfield store got the call. He immediately spoke to the dealer about making sure that we could get Kyla to our facility so that we could do a full “needs analysis” to find the right solution for the family, one that fit her specific type of wheelchair, the family’s travel requirements and ramp or lift preferences. The Auto Dealer agreed and Nick was able to reach out to the clothing store owners and to the Hartigan family. He was able to determine that the best long-term solution would be a 2013 Chrysler Town & Country Limited with a VMI Northstar in-floor ramp conversion. And they love it!

Congratulations to Kyla and the Hartigan family! We were so glad to be a part of making your life a little easier.

*Editor's Note: NMEDA stands for the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association. MobilityWorks is an active NMEDA member and a Quality Assurance Program (QAP) provider.