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Tyler’s Road to Recovery

TylerBissonTyler has always been eager to get up and go! He has participated in basketball, football, track and is a certified scuba diver. Those who love Tyler have always struggled to keep up with his energy. Unfortunately, this past summer, Tyler was involved in a devastating car crash that has left him paralyzed.

On this past Father’s Day, Tyler and his sister were rear-ended by a distracted driver, sending them both to the hospital. Tyler suffered massive head trauma, and has been in and out of hospitals and rehab centers ever since. He is unable to talk or eat on his own, but has been making progress.

Tyler has been home for a little over a month now.  He’s tolerated a “tea party” with his little sister.  He’s watched familiar movies and television, and listened to his music.

The time at home has been some of Tyler’s most attentive and alert since the crash.  He has been awake more often and for longer periods of time.  He smiles several times a week.  Sometimes, he has looked in the direction of somebody talking to him from across the room.  On occasion, he’s squeezed his mom’s hand when asked to do so.  Tyler’s rehabilitation is focused on exactly these kind of things with the ultimate goal that Tyler will be able to communicate with us.

Like everyone else, as spring comes, Tyler’s family has their eyes on the outdoors.  They want to get Tyler out into the community at parks, beaches, and to see family and friends.  Currently, they do not have the ability to transport Tyler to do any of this.  Even getting to doctors’ appointments — both scheduled and emergency — requires a herculean effort.  Only an ambulance provider transports patients as medically complex as Tyler.

Tyler needs his own van, and one that can fit the entire family. Anything you can do to make this a reality is deeply appreciated by his family. To learn more or help in Tyler’s road to recovery you can visit his GoFundMe page here.

If you or someone you know is raising funds towards the purchase of an accessible vehicle, feel free to email us at marketing@mobilityworks.com and we would be happy to promote your campaign on our community site.

Gavin’s New Accessible Van

Van DellenEarlier this week, the Van Dellen family of Philadelphia, PA received a donated van thanks to MobilityWorks’ partner Special Kids Fund / Magic Mobility. Their organization is dedicated to finding donated accessible vehicles for children in wheelchairs all across the country. In this case, the funding was secured by an anonymous donor, through their DAF (donor advised fund), who saw the Van Dellen’s GoFundMe page for their son Gavin.

Gavin is an energetic 7 year old who lives with a rare genetic disease known as PMD. It results in a lack of myelin, which is the covering that protects nerve cells. However, this doesn’t stop him from being able to play with his friends and siblings, and now he has a van to bring everyone with him!

The Van Dellens selected a large Ford E-350, so they can take all of their children, and Grandma whenever they go out. Driving the large van, that is almost the size of a small bus, won’t be a problem for Gavin’s dad “G”. He is a paramedic in the Philadelphia area who regularly drives ambulances.

Knowing that the Van Dellens needed such a large vehicle, their Certified Mobility Consultant, Donna Horrocks, worked with MobilityWorks of Toledo to have the van shipped over from Ohio. The MobilityWorks team in Norristown, PA then installed a new touch screen radio complete with a Bluetooth backup camera.

Thank you, to Special Kids Fund’s MagicMobility and their anonymous donor, for providing such a wonderful family with a much needed accessible vehicle!

Catching up with “Curb Free Cory Lee”

Cory-Lee-HelsinkiIn the spring of 2015, Cory Lee was featured on the front of MobilityWork’s annual InMotion newsletter. Cory is a travel enthusiast, a dedicated blogger, and a wonderful advocate for improving accessibility worldwide. He was featured after renting an accessible van from MobilityWorks and winning our Instagram contest. Since then, Cory has been a busy man travelling all over the globe!

His 2016 started with a snowy trip to Helsinki, Finland. Upon his arrival, Cory knew that he had to check out the top rated TripAdvisor destination of Suomenlinna. This small island and former military fort is just a 15 minute accessible ferry ride away from Helsinki.  While on the island, Cory enjoyed breathtaking views of historic churches, monuments and was able to warm up in the island’s museum and coffee shops.

Cory’s next adventure in 2016 had been on his bucket list for a long time! While in Las Vegas, he was able to ride in an accessible hot air balloon. (Watch the video of his ride here) Cory was surprised with how smooth the entire process was, even the landing in a rocky field next to a shopping plaza. The crew from “Love is in the Air Ballooning” met them at the land site where they all enjoyed breakfast and a traditional champagne toast. A few months later Cory was back in a hot air balloon, this time over the Negev Desert while visiting Israel.

One of Cory’s most inspiring trips last year was to Kruger National Park in South Africa. Going on a Safari was another life long dream that Cory was able to cross off his bucket list in 2016. He was one of 3 wheelchair users in the group that was offered by the travel company Epic Enabled. While on the safari, Cory spotted tigers, elephants, giraffes and rhinos to name a few of the exotic wildlife they encountered.

In 2017 Cory Lee plans to visit Scandinavia, Russia and return to the Mall of America in Minneapolis. To keep up with his incredible accessible adventures visit www.curbfreewithcorylee.com  or visit his Facebook Page.

Google Honors Disability Advocate Ed Roberts

Google Ed Roberts

Have you ever noticed the “Google Doodle” drawing above the search bar that changes almost every day? Sometimes they change it to match the season or holiday, or a major event happening in the world. Today, January 23, the artwork honors world-renowned disability activist Ed Roberts on what would have been his 78th birthday. Referred to as the father of the independent living movement, Mr. Roberts was at the forefront in fighting for the rights of students with disabilities to be able to attend college.

At the age of 14, Ed contracted Polio just two years before the vaccine was released. After spending 18 months in the hospital, Ed was finally released, but was paralyzed from the neck down except for two fingers on one hand. After his release, Ed returned to High School learning to deal with his new challenges. When it came time to graduate, he was given a hard time by the administration for not completing the necessary physical education and driving requirements.  After petitioning and finally receiving his diploma, Ed was accepted to the University of California Berkeley.

Ed Roberts is known for being one of the first college students in America with a severe physical disability. He created the first Physically Disabled Students Program in the nation which ultimately led to others enrolling at UC Berkeley.  Ed graduated with his Masters in Political Science and later returned to the University to lead their Center for Independent Living.

In 1976 Roberts became the Director of the California’s Department of Vocational Rehabilitation.  Ed passed away in 1995, but since then has been recognized and honored for all of his accomplishments. Some of these recognitions include: his wheelchair being displayed at the National Museum of American History, a building named after him at UC Berkeley, induction to the California Hall of Fame  — as well as Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declaring January 23rd of ever year a day of special significance.

 

Be There – Blair Chirdon

Blair_BlogWhen Blair Chirdon was born, the doctors told her parents that she wouldn’t be able to do many things due to being diagnosed with Congenital Cervical Myopathy. It’s a rare birth defect that limits one’s range of motion. One thing they didn’t know was that she was born with more determination than the average person. Now, 27 years later, she is still proving those doctors wrong! Blair currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and family, drives her own car and has a successful career in customer service.

At the age of 21, she decided that to become more independent she wanted to learn how to drive. Blair enrolled at Brants Driving School in Johnstown, PA. Her driving instructor Bryan helped change her life and is still a friend to this day. She recalls that the first day was a bit challenging and even scary, but on the second day of driving Blair was loving it! She now drives a Ford Focus that is fitted with high-tech, touch screen hand controls, an adapted steering wheel and even some pink pinstripes for style. Blair enjoys being able to pick up her nephew from school and go anywhere she wants around town.

One place Blair does not have to drive to is work. She is able to do that from home thanks to National Telecommuting Institute. NTI was founded in 1995 to help find physically disabled individuals work-from-home jobs. They provide training and support through online courses and will continue to work with someone even after they are placed with an organization.  Currently Blair is working with the IRS. She stumbled across NTI while on the social security website and within one day they were working to find Blair a new career.

If you are interested in getting back on the road, or learning to drive for the first time feel free to contact us. Our Certified Mobility Consultants will help you find a trusted instructor in your area that specializes in using hand controls and start working on the right solution for your vehicle. You may also want to read our blog on Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialists (CDRS).

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