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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.

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!