Founded in 2005, Operation Injured Soldiers is a nonprofit organization in Michigan that provides recreation opportunities to wounded veterans. Their mission is to thank heroes for their sacrifices and help get them back into sports and hobbies they enjoyed prior to deployment. Last month, the group took their annual Muskie fishing trip and a few members from MobilityWorks tagged along for the excursion.
MobilityWorks was happy to join in the celebration with The Jett Foundation as they celebrated their 6th Jett Giving Fund success by gifting Liam McGourty and his family with a new wheelchair accessible minivan.
11-year old Liam McGourty was born with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and is mostly confined to a power chair. With a handicap accessible van, Liam can now safely and easily travel to doctor’s appointments, friend’s houses, school, and family events.
Last year’s winner of our national “be there” contest was Kelly Boyd. Her empowering story motivated all of us to think outside of the box and live life to the fullest by helping others. In her story, Kelly shared with us that it was her involvement in the Ms. Wheelchair program that was the stepping stone to her rewarding career in emergency management.
Today, Kelly is one of over 500 state titleholders who have participated in the Ms. Wheelchair America program in the last 20 years. In 1972, there were three contestants. Today there are 30 state titleholders who have won the ability to compete for this year’s crown August 14–20 in Erie, PA. Each contestant is selected for their accomplishments in advocacy, achievement, communication and presentation. The winner makes guest appearances across the U.S. promoting their platform.
What started out as a team-building exercise to the Cleveland International film festival quickly became a possible look into the future of our industry, a reaffirmation of how life can change in an instant, and a renewed appreciation for how passion with a positive optimistic outlook can drive people to do the unimaginable.
The film “Re-engineering Sam” chronicles the journey of quadriplegic Sam Schmidt, an Indy race car driver who despite a crash in 2000 that rendered him a quadriplegic, never lost his hope or passion to drive. Throughout the movie you are drawn to Sam, his family, and their very honest portrayal of everyday vulnerabilities. Sam’s incredible drive to race and be a part of the racing industry has had an impact on everyone close to him. It would, inevitably, be the impact that Sam had on a fan, that would make his dreams of driving a car again come true.
MobilityWorks was proud to be a part of the recent work done by the The Jett Foundation to help out a Tampa military family in need.
Austin Wilcher, a 12-year-old with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, needs to use a power wheelchair or scooter for his mobility. In order to get Austin around from place to place, his father John, an active duty member of the military and single father, needed to buy a van that he could ride the scooter up and inside the vehicle with the use of a wheelchair ramp. Fortunately, MobilityWorks of Tampa had the right van that met all of their travel needs. Forrest Bateman, the MobilityWorks Certified Mobility Consultant, then worked with Joe and Austin to make sure all of the equipment would be a perfect fit to keep Austin mobile and safe.