My name is Ian Mackay. In 2008, at the age of 26, I was in a bicycle accident and broke my neck. This accident left me paralyzed from the neck down, and changed my life and that of my family forever. For eight years I have been living with my family learning how to live as a paralyzed man. I'm now at the point where living independently is important to me. When I was injured, there were many who wanted to help me. However, at that time, there was nothing I wanted other than to survive. Now I want something. And it's something big.
I'm building a house. It's on my family’s property and gives me the advantage of family support as well as independence. I've drawn the plans myself. It's modest. Purchasing a home would be completely out of my reach financially and not designed around me. In addition, being miles away from my family would be hazardous to my health. We have numerous volunteers for labor on this project. My family is making a significant contribution, but building a home is an expensive endeavor. Once the structure is complete, the interior, appliances and adaptive equipment for a quadriplegic’s daily living quickly add up. For the first time in eight years, I will have a shower. This means so much to me.
This is where I ask you for help. And I'm uncomfortable doing so. But part of being independent is being able to contribute. With my meager income of social security and pub trivia winnings, the best way I can find to help is by asking for assistance from my friends and community. Any amount helps, and even labor or materials would be useful. I hope to pay this forward in the future.