Monday, July 29, 2013

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

A few months ago, our medical equipment representative offered us a wheelchair for Ben. Another family donated it to the company because their daughter outgrew it. Always ready to try something new for Ben, especially for free, I accepted the offer.

We kept the chair for many weeks, but unfortunately it was too big for Ben and he always found a way to slide under the belt, leaving his body hanging and his neck in a choke hold. Although comical to watch Ben try to get out of the chair, I knew it was not going to work for him.

I contacted several people to see if they knew of a family who could use the chair. I did not get any solid responses. Our friend, Celeste, at North Carolina Assistive Technology suggested we try the NC Exchange Post, a site like Craig's List, but specifically for equipment for disabled people.

After posting the chair on the NC Exchange Post, we received a hit quickly. It was from a grandmother, Ellen*, needing a chair for her granddaughter, Adrian*. Ellen drove two hours to pickup the chair, and she stayed an hour with us swapping stories about our special kids.

Strangely enough, Ellen and I share similar careers. She owned her own business facilitating team building and leadership activities through high and low ropes courses. She brought her album with photos of courses she built many years ago, probably around the time these types of activities became popular. She is a creative and resourceful woman. I am glad to have met her.

We did not meet Adrian, but through a few photos and short videos, we were able to see she has a bright smile and happy disposition. We are glad the wheelchair found a good home with her.

* Names have been changed for privacy concerns.

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