Saturday, January 12, 2013

The power of positive peer pressure

When the Holiday season was in high swing, a friend issued a challenge to her friends via facebook post.  Essentially she asked us all to find something you are good at and help someone else by doing that thing.  And then, find someone else that needs help that you can provide.  Repeat as necessary.

Such a simple concept.

The Boss Lady has taken this challenge to heart and she found a project that ended up involving the entire family.

The Boss Lady rounded up a 20+ year old pediatric wheelchair because she knew of a three year old who was needing one.   Once she brought the project home, it turned into a family affair.  The Princess helped disassemble and clean parts.  The Talker helped scrub and clean too.  The Boss provided most of the time and muscle on this project.  I was the wheel man.

After rounding up new tires and cleaning the whole thing up, we had a working wheelchair almost ready to deliver.  Once-upon-a-time the wheels were easily removable so that the wheelchair could fold and slip into the trunk of a small car.  After 20 years of storage the wheels no longer were quick release.

This morning I hauled the little purple rig down to Racecar Man's garage.  After applying heat from a blow torch, penetrating oil, some force, more heat, more oil and a little persuasion from a big ol' hammer, we ended up with axles that are once again easily removable from the wheelchair frame.

While we were making the chair more functional, The Boss Lady was busy sewing up a new seat cushion.  This evening the kids took turns test driving.

Here she is, refurbished and ready to roll.

Wheelchairs are very individualized pieces of equipment.  And the new owner of this ride will soon need one made specifically for her.  That is the next part of The Boss Lady's project.

Insurance companies are often reluctant to pony up the $$$ to buy pediatric wheelchairs.  (The current version of this chair sells for upwards of $2000.)   As you might guess, the paperwork hassles are enormous, especially for parents venturing into the process for the first time.  The Boss Lady is up to the challenge.  She is preparing to take her paperwork skillz out of the office and she is going to help these parents navigate the process so that their daughter can get the equipment she needs.

Getting a new wheelchair approved, fitted, ordered, built and delivered can be a 3-6 month process.  So now, in the meantime, there will be at least one more happy little girl out on a cruise with her family.

1 comment:

The Father of Five said...

What a COOL family project - You guys are simply amazing!