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Be There – David Trude

David-Trude-Sand-Surf2Almost 20 years ago Dave Trude was injured in an industrial accident that shattered his T11 vertebrae. He instantly lost the use of his legs, but did not lose his adventurous attitude. Dave had sailed competitively since he was a teenager, but knew continuing this may be difficult from a wheelchair. He quickly learned about the little known sport of Blokart racing, and since then has become one of the top competitors in the world!

The Blokart was designed and developed in 1999 by inventor Paul Beckett. With a background in hang gliding, he was inspired to build a wind powered vehicle that was fun, fast and compact. His vision was a great success as the Blokart can reach speeds of up to 60 mph and be broken down to fit in a carrying case in a matter of minutes. The sport gained immediate interest in Beckett’s home country of New Zealand, and since then has picked up a following in South Africa and the United States. Unlike land sailing, the Blokart is completely controlled by the users hands, which made this the perfect sport for Dave.

In 2016 Trude’s talents were on display at the North American Championships where he took home second place! Just a few weeks later Dave brought home the bronze medal at the Blokart World Championships held in his home state of California. Unfortunately, Dave was unable to compete in the 2017 North American tournament held earlier this month due to a family emergency. However, he is already looking forward to a shot at first place in 2018!

This is How We Roll Fashion Show

fashion_show_fittedEarlier this month the Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation held their 4th annual “This is How We Roll Fashion Show”. The event was held just outside of Milwaukee, WI where almost 40 models, ranging in age from 5 to 70, showed off some of the latest trends in fashion. Current Miss Wisconsin winner Courtney Pelot and local celebrity Luke Bebeau hosted the show that was attended by almost 300 people.  This was their largest amount raised to date with over $35,000 being donated to help fund research as well as support the local community.

In 1998, while attending Marquette University, Bryon was injured in a car accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down. Following the accident, his family and friends pulled together to put on a fundraiser that would help with Bryon’s medical costs. This inspired Bryon to form the nonprofit in 2001, that over the past 16 years has raised over $4 million dollars towards the fight against paralysis.  Every year they award research grants to some of the brightest minds and best research facilities in the United States. They also help individuals in the local community with the cost of adaptive equipment, as well as scholarships for college tuition.

Bryon Riesch puts on several other annual events including a golf outing, bowling tournament and a team race for kids. He initially organized the fashion show to bring attention to issues such as inclusion, medical research and improving accessibility. As his organization continues to grow and gain national media attention Bryon is looking forward to helping even more individuals and researchers.

Check out the video below to see some of the “This is How We Roll Fashion Show”

Sam Schmidt: Reengineering Sam

Sam Scmidt-640At the turn of the century, Sam Schmidt was regarded as one of the rising stars in the IndyCar series. On January 6, 2000, Sam was involved in a wreck that left him paralyzed from the neck down. Ever since that day it has been Sam’s mission to get back behind the wheel!

With help from BraunAbility and Arrow Electronics, Sam was provided with a semi-autonomous Chevrolet Corvette C7 Stingray that he is able to drive with slight head movements. He was able to drive this car around a racetrack at over 150 mph!

The video below is a preview for a new documentary that highlights Sam’s journey. The film’s premiere is next week at the Cleveland International Film Festival. Congratulations Sam!

Click here to learn more about Sam’s Corvette

New Jersey Town Raises Funds for Accessible Van

Makayla-BlogThe city of Fair Lawn, New Jersey is a special place with a tight knit community. One of their residents, a young girl named Makayla, just received a new accessible van from MobilityWorks thanks to support from her town. The fundraisers were sponsored by a local company, United Real Estate, and several generous donations were made by local families. Even the mayor was involved and he was very excited to see Makalya’s new van. When the van was ready to be handed over, local reporter Wayne Robbins came out to film an edition of “Inside Fair Lawn”.

You can check out his video below:

The MobilityWorks  of Farmingdale team and Certified Mobility Consultant Donald Dufty were honored to be able to help such a wonderful family. Also a special thanks to everyone in Fair Lawn who helped Makayla receive her new accessible van!

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.