The inaugural National Mobility Awareness Month in May that kicked off with NMEDA’s wheelchair van giveaway contest came to end this past week – with a significant amount of publicity and fanfare surrounding the selection of its three essay winners.
The three winners were announced Friday on the syndicated morning television show “The Daily Buzz.” Alberto Cruz (Willimantic, CT), Ken Davert (Bay City, MI) and Ron Miner (Frankfort, IL), shared stories of triumph overcoming their disabilities and how their new, wheelchair accessible vehicles will further empower them in their active lifestyles.
The Davert Family of Bay City Michigan will be picking up their van at our Saginaw MI location in a few weeks. The heart-melting story (as told by the mother Missy) about her two children, twins now 13, having osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) a brittle bone condition, and with Missy herself having OI and over 200 fractures was compelling to the voters -- and apparently the judges too. Her husband Ken also has Cerebral Palsy. Missy was the Executive Director for the Center for Independent Living of Mid-Michigan before raising her children and taking care of the family became a full-time job. The Davert’s positive outlook and incredible self-determination is a real inspiration to everyone around them.
Ron Miner is a disabled Army Veteran who was injured on active duty while serving our country. He is now the Wheelchair Bodybuilding World Champion and a winner of several gold medals at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games. He now uses his time to coach others in wheelchair sporting events and with living an active life in a wheelchair. He actively promotes veteran’s causes and has worked with his U.S. Senator and members of Congress on many different veteran issues.
Alberto Cruz was injured in a surfing accident at the age 15 years old and is now paralyzed from the shoulders down. His inspiring story of his caregiving mother losing her job and his positive attitude while attending school in his power wheelchair after the accident was narrated through a video produced by one of his high school teachers.
Congratulations to ALL of the local heroes who were nominated in this process. There were “hundreds” of deserving individuals and families who have our sincere thanks and appreciation for sharing their stories and raising awareness of mobility issues.