Friday, January 25, 2013

A follow up to my last post

The wheelchair is funded! One group, that I am not a member of, kicked in half of the money. Two groups of my friends picked up the rest.

My student gets her new wheels in a few weeks.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Another week, another chair

Sometimes I have to work hard to keep up with The Boss Lady. Last week she had us all involved in a wheelchair rehab project.  This week we started the next project.

One of my students needs a new wheelchair. Her family has insurance and they are six months into fighting and working with the company to get this thing paid for. Last month they were told they needed to pay a co-pay of a few hundred dollars. NOW, since the wheelchair was not ordered in the previous calendar year, the family's portion comes up to $1700.

This family is not destitute.  They are going to find a way.  They will save up and shave expenses and the cash will be gathered in a few months.  Maybe a year.  But I decided to speed things along a little if I could.

I am a member of a couple of men's organizations that do charitable work. At a meeting this week I asked about 30 guys to help out simply by reminding them that they would not want their own kids or grand kids to wait six more months, or six more days for needed equipment.

15 minutes later the family was $200 closer to the co-pay.  Several men, like me, usually, mentioned that they had no cash to drop in the hat, but they want to contribute online and another member offered to set up an online giving page once we had the family's permission.

I was honored to give the student's mom the first of our contributions yesterday and the online page is coming up in the next few days.  Next week I'll hit a different group meeting and I bet those guys will try to fill the hat again especially when I tell them that the first group gave so generously this week.  Nothing like a little MORE positive peer pressure to get something good done!

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.