When Drew Richard was only six months old, his parents noticed that his twin brother Bryce had started crawling but Drew had not. His parents took him to their pediatrician who diagnosed him with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Today, Drew is a very passionate college student who loves music and traveling. Unfortunately, his accessible van is on its last leg. He is now raising money through GoFundMe to get back on the road!
Drew is currently finishing up his senior year at the University of Illinois and plans to enroll in grad school next fall. He is seeking a Master’s in Public Policy with a career path in environmental protection. Ideally, Drew plans to specialize in water management with the goal of improving the world’s water efficiency issues.
When he is not working hard at school, Drew loves to travel. He has been fortunate enough to travel between the beaches of Florida and the mountains of Colorado. The first trip he would like to take in his new van is to the Northwest to visit states like Montana, Oregon and Washington. Their unique culture, cuisine and dedication to the conservation of the earth are some of the reasons he would like to visit.
GoFundMe Advice from Drew
So far, Drew has been able to raise over $21,000 towards his goal of $45,000! His advice to anyone starting a GoFundMe is, “Put your heart and soul into what you love, what you care for, and most importantly what you will stand up for, and people will support you. As long as you plan to do good and promote positive things with the money others have worked hard to earn and set aside, I believe anyone is capable of raising funds for a good cause.”
Click Here to support Drew’s campaign and learn more about his story.
About Spinal Muscular Atrophy
Spinal Muscular Atrophy is a rare genetic disease that affects approximately 1 in 10,000 babies, however as high as 1 in 50 Americans may be carriers. SMA blocks the motor neuron gene from producing a protein that is critical to nerves responsible for controlling muscles. Although, this is Drew’s diagnosis, he has never let it define him!
MobilityWorks Announces Acquisition of Advanced Mobility Systems of Texas
We are excited to announce the addition of three new MobilityWorks locations in Dallas/Fort Worth and Austin metro areas of Texas. This now makes four showrooms in the state of Texas with our existing Waco service center. The team from Advanced Mobility Systems has been serving customers for 30 years and we are very happy to have them join the MobilityWorks family.
The two companies have always shared a passion for helping people in wheelchairs to be more independent by allowing them to travel in a vehicle of their choosing. “We are extremely pleased with becoming part of the MobilityWorks family, said Guy Tucker, President of Advanced Mobility Systems. “I’ve known their leadership team for many years and we share the same views on providing great customer service. For me, that was one of the most important aspects of this transition.”
For clients of Advanced Mobility Systems, we invite you and your family to stop by their local showroom as we transition the locations to MobilityWorks. Contact us today if you have any questions or concerns about your vehicle, recent purchase or planned purchase. You can also contact us at 1-877-275-4907 to schedule a free needs analysis with a Certified Mobility Consultant.
Since 1986, EverDry in Toledo has waterproofed over 80,000 basements throughout Ohio and Michigan. Owner Ken Rusk has been in the industry for almost 30 years, and believes deeply in local charities and continues to drive his company in the direction of giving back and making a difference in people’s lives. They have worked with The Make-A-Wish Foundation to help send local children to Disney, and even funded a humanitarian trip to Haiti where their friend Shane visited several orphanages. EverDry also works with several local charities that provide food and shelter to children in need.
Most recently, EverDry met and started raising funds for Will Jonsson. Will is just like any other 9 year old boy. He loves to ride horses, go swimming, and play baseball, but unlike most boys, Will suffered a brain injury during delivery and now lives with cerebral palsy. One of the biggest challenges for his parents was being able to transfer him in and out of their car. They started a fundraising campaign for a new accessible van and when EverDry caught wind of it they knew they could help!
They generously agreed to match any funds raised by the community, with an end goal of $22,000. Last month EverDry reached out to MobilityWorks of Toledo, and Certified Mobility Consultant Matt Roeder was able to help find the perfect vehicle for the Jonsson’s needs. After meeting with the family, Matt said, “It was definitely one of those moments that really showed me why I do, what I do every day.”
If you would like to donate to the Jonsson’s or any other of EverDry’s charitable causes, click here.
Many wheelchair users face multiple challenges to perform everyday tasks. That’s why we love hearing about people coming together and getting creative to find a solution. You won’t believe these amazing adaptions that solve problems wheelchair users face.
Peter is a New Jersey resident with cerebral palsy. He wrote to Sony complaining about his PlayStation touch-pad interfering with his gaming experience. Alex, a Sony employee, wrote back promising a solution. He put in about 10 hours of work to create a custom controller with a second button that rerouted the touch-pad’s functions. Now, Peter can play and enjoy his games without interference.
“The email you sent definitely struck a chord within,” Alex replied in a letter back to Peter. “It killed me to hear how something you used to enjoy thoroughly was being ruined because of our new controller design.”
Alex asked for feedback on how the controller performed and told Peter he was making a second controller in case the first breaks.
Brin is a sixth grader with cerebral palsy. Her limited motor skills made opening her locker a challenging task. When classmates caught wind of her difficulties, 8 seniors in an engineering class designed an adapted lock over 5 months. After several prototypes, the students redesigned the lock into one motion to easily pop the lock. The lock was printed using a 3D printer. Brin said she wants to be an engineer when she grows up so she too can help others with disabilities.
“It certainly gives me more independence,” said Brin, who said the old lock was frustrating and she’s thankful to the seniors who came up with the solution. “A simple design on a computer turned into something that could help me. It’s pretty amazing!”
Sharina is a first-time mom that lost the use of her legs when she was shot as a child. When she was pregnant, she was concerned about handling a stroller with her newborn. Sharina called the local university as they work with high school students to give them college-level research projects. 16-year-old Alden was assigned the project to create an adapted wheelchair stroller. His biggest priority was making sure the device was safe for the baby. Alden was motivated by Sharina’s due date to get the project completed in a timely manner. The device is made from stainless steel piping with connectors that attach it to Sharina’s wheelchair. The teenager is hoping the device can be used by other new parents as well.
“I love it,” Sharina said of the stroller attachment. “It makes everything so much easier. He’s [Alden] a great kid. He is going to be an amazing engineer.”
Mary, a 7-year-old with muscular atrophy, can now swing in her backyard thanks to an accessible swing her father built her. Her father, Ryan, has a background in mechanical engineering. He had drafted plans to build the swing to hold Mary and her 450-pound chair. Ryan won a parenting website grant to fund the project so Mary now enjoys the coolest swing in the state of Alabama.
“The accessible playgrounds are 10 or 15 miles away,” Ryan said. “Mary said she wanted a swing that her chair can go in. So, I said I would do it. The only thing Mary is limited by is our imagination. You have to be the person who enables your child to live a normal life.”
Matthew was born with cerebral palsy. Since he was born, he has overcome many limitations doctors predicted for him. Tying his shoes was still a challenge. Matthew wrote a letter to Nike saying, “My dream is to go to the college of my choice without having to worry about someone coming to tie my shoes every day. I’ve worn Nike basketball shoes all my life. I can only wear this type of shoe because I need ankle support to walk. At 16 years old, I am able to completely dress myself, but my parents still have to tie my shoes. As a teenager who is striving to become totally self-sufficient, I find this extremely frustrating and, at times, embarrassing.”
The letter landed in the hands of Nike designer Tobie who has worked with Special Olympians. The two worked together for three years to develop the Nike FLYEASE sneaker. The wrap-around zipper solution opens the back of the shoe making it easy to slide the foot in and out. Matthew is now a student at Florida Gulf Coast University and can be seen wearing his FLYEASE sneakers all over campus.
Amphibious All-Terrain Vehicle
Alfred owns 650 acres in Florida and has always considered himself to be an outdoorsy person. He purchased a 6-wheeled amphibious ATV and knew he had to bring it to MobilityWorks to convert. The Tampa location installed driving controls, extended the shifter handle and added a chest strap and taller backrest, among other adjustments. The service team even added a remote jump port connector that would jump start the vehicle for Alfred if it lost power while in the water.
“Hats off, awesome job!” Alfred said of the Tampa team’s commitment. He enjoys taking the ATV out every day with his son and at family functions. Alfred’s mobility challenges no longer stop him from fishing and enjoying his land.
Transportation can be a huge challenge for wheelchair users. That’s why we offer many solutions from lifts to adapted vehicles. Find out how an accessible vehicle can offer you the freedom you deserve by clicking here.
We are happy to announce the addition of five new locations to our list of service centers with the addition of Carolina Mobility Sales, also known as Achieve Mobility and Savannah Mobility Sales. The new van showrooms are located in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina, bringing the total number of consumer locations to 61 across 22 states. We will now be able to help individuals and businesses in the major metro areas of Tallahassee FL, Savannah GA, Charlotte NC, Columbia SC, and Greenville SC.
We want to welcome the Carolina Mobility staff to the MobilityWorks family and we look forward to serving many more people throughout the Southeast region of the country.
For clients of Carolina Mobility, we invite you and your family to stop by our local showroom as we transition the Achieve Mobility locations to MobilityWorks. Please feel free to contact us here if you have any questions or concerns about your vehicle, recent purchase or planned purchase. You can also contact us at 855-364-0121 to schedule a free needs analysis with a Certified Mobility Consultant.