Scooting for StitchGnomercy

$1,715 of $2,769 goal

Raised by 67 people in 36 months
Candice Casas  GREENSBORO, NC
Because of a combination of my spine injury and my pre-existing disability stuff, I've realized that I need to get a mobility scooter to get around in my regular life.  I miss being able to eschew driving to campus for work, classes, and meetings!  While my manual wheelchair helps me on flat surfaces, the hills on campus really make manual wheeling a recipe for messing up my already messed up shoulders and wrists!

I'm fundraising for a TravelScoot Junior Deluxe (it's a shorter frame with a better battery than the original version).  The fundraiser goal also includes a basket so I can carry books and a travel case that protects the scooter when I go to scholarly conferences (that frequently have thick padded carpet that are awful for manual wheelers).

Help me keep my shoulders healthy so I can be as active as possible!
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Update 6
Posted by Candice Casas
31 months ago
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This update is mirrored on my blog, Adventures of a Part Time Wheeler at http://stitchgnomercy.wordpress.com/2014/08/21/scooting/

Thank you to everyone that supported my scooter fundraiser, whether that was financially, socially (sharing), or emotionally. As I’m from a good ol’ American “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” family, it was really hard to even start the thing. Add to that the frustrating level of ableism and sizeism, both internal and external, and it made me a ball of nerves for a long time. I’ll start with the TL;DR….it’s on its way, even though we didn’t hit the goal!

Thanks to some awesome networking like Atchka from Fierce Fatties (where I guest blog about once a month), I was able to raise a significant amount of money…but we still weren’t able to get to the amount I needed to get the right scooter from my needs without doing a media push (which I thought about, but with the combination of old health crap, new health crap, a new semester that includes teaching by myself for the first time, there was just no way that I was going to have the spoons to make that happen properly.

The next big thanks to Marilyn Wann (the author of the gateway-to-fat-acceptance book Fat!So?), who knew about my fundraiser to get a scooter to have a better quality of life and to move through the world on my terms. She heard of someone selling their couple year old TravelScoot so they could upgrade to the deluxe model. The price point was under what I raised which will let me buy the specific attachments I need that aren’t coming with (like the baskets, the travel case, et al). While part of me is a bit nervous about buying this used, I’ve asked the right questions and am pleased that the scooter is on its way from California. If all goes well, it will be here in time for the second week of the semester and will finally allow me to get around campus like a proper doctoral student.

I’m leaving the GoFundMe up if people still want to contribute. Mechanical things sometimes need repairs, and while I imagine that I’ll learn how to do some of the repairs myself (like with my manual wheelchair *glares at Delta Airlines’ baggage people*). I’m also leaving it up because my next medical expense is getting a supportive seat back on my manual chair (as it is my preference to use my own strength to get around whenever possible, like academic conferences or shopping at the grocery store). Anything helps as my health insurance as a doctoral student is barely helpful *glares at all the medical bills that I’m trying to make payment arrangements on*

Thank you all again!
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Update 5
Posted by Candice Casas
33 months ago
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Thank you all for getting me past the half way mark! You all are fabulous!

I want to address a few things that people are asking about why I'm doing this fundraiser, and some of these things really get down to what it means to be disabled in the United States. Some of you that have donated to the campaign are also disabled or know someone that is, so this might not be news...but it's pretty darn important.

The biggest question I'm getting is "why aren't you getting your insurance?" Totally valid question. I'm a doctoral student (hopefully candidate this time next year) and I have really crappy student insurance. Really crappy. I can't get them to pay for all my meds and I'm constantly fighting to get doctor's appointments paid for. They aren't going to pay for it....and even if they would, there are numerous hoops I would have to jump through, all of which cost me time and money.

Here's the process: Once I have the prescription (yes, it requires a prescription....I can show you the one for the manual chair), I have to make an appointment with a physical therapy seating specialist. Sometimes this is a multi-appointment process, and none of the physical therapists I've worked with are seating specialists. Once I have this, my insurance gets to be picky. They can tell me which scooter they will pay for. On top of that, as someone that doesn't need the scooter inside my house, they would refuse to pay. My ability to (sometimes) walk from my bed to my bathroom makes me ineligible. This doesn't include my deductible, the percentage cost thing, or the aforementioned appointments. Long story short, it's more expensive to go through my insurance (and frustrating). It also leaves me with whatever scooter they think I need, instead of being able to look at my lifestyle and say "I need a scooter that can be lifted with little dismantling and doesn't take up much room in my office."

The next question has been about various governmental programs paying for it (Medicaid, Social Security, vocational rehabilitation, et al). As for Medicaid, I live in North Carolina. It's one of the states that refused the Medicaid expansion. Despite my abysmal stipend, I make too much to qualify without a massive process documenting all of my disabilities (which I haven't been able to get proper care for because of my required monthly pain clinic appointments that are allowing me to work & go to school). As for Social Security, I'm one of those pesky disabled people that insists on working (whether or not I ought to be is a different debate) so I'm ineligible there. As vocational rehabilitation centers can require SSI or documentation that I'm currently unable to work, I'm stuck there too.

Along with these questions, there's also the sticky place that because I can usually use a manual wheelchair, that I don't need a scooter....but my campus is barely ADA compliant in many places, and it's certainly not accessible enough for me to be able to go to the library or to handle the big hills in this area (I wish I could...I really do....I prefer being able to get around without a motor involved). The scooter will also allow me to bring my crutches with me so I can handle other access issues (like bathrooms and tall shelves).

Feel free to ask questions if you all have them :-)
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Update 4
Posted by Candice Casas
33 months ago
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Thank you all again for helping me out! Some of you know me personally and some from my blogging adventures (either Adventures of a Part Time Wheeler or Fierce Freethinking Fatties), but either way your help means a lot to me.

Getting this scooter will help me personally but will also help me keep up with my scholarly and activist work on joyful physical activity for bodies of all sizes and abilities. It's not been easy and I've caught a lot of flack in the bowels of the internet by people assuming that scooter use means less physical activity because of the size and shape of my body.

I hope that my position as an academic (and hopeful PhD by 2016!) will help change the popular perceptions regarding exercise, body size, chronic pain, and disability. By helping me be able to be active despite a broken body, you all are helping in that fight!
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Update 3
Posted by Candice Casas
34 months ago
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Thank you for everyone that has donated so far! I just wanted to tell you all that my academic work with undergraduate kinesiology (sport & physical activity) students about health, body size, and ableism will be greatly impacted by everything you have donated (money, time, and support). If you folks could spread the word, you would be contributing to a future scholar's contribution to the world about joyful physical activity as a social justice issue!

Thank you again for everything!
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$1,715 of $2,769 goal

Raised by 67 people in 36 months
Created March 20, 2014
AS
$10
Amy L. Sacks
31 months ago
$25
Ruth Adar
31 months ago
$5
Cara Hartley
32 months ago
MS
$10
Mimi Says
32 months ago
$25
Anonymous
32 months ago
$25
Kelly Bliss
32 months ago
$50
Anonymous
32 months ago
$5
Anonymous
33 months ago
$5
Anonymous
33 months ago
EJ
$20
Eileen Jackson
33 months ago
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