For those of you who don't know me, my name is Mike Chenail. As a result of a motorcycle accident in 1985 I sustained a spinal cord injury which took away my ability to walk. Hence, I have relied on the use of a manual wheelchair for my mobility for more than 32 years.
While the accident would drastically alter every aspect of my life, I never lost my passion for life and the outdoors. I would never again work as a tree climber, and hiking the backwoods and mountains I grew to love was out of the question, although I was determined to continue hunting and fishing to the best of my ability. No longer able to hop out of my truck or hike into my favorite fishing hole or hunting spot, I adapted in various ways to make the best of my new lifestyle.
Over the years it became apparent that our arms were never intended to do our walking for us. Having realized the limits of my arms and the strain that ambulating a wheelchair would take on my rotator cuffs, I gave up on such activities as, going to the beach, hand-cycling, downhill skiing, and even playing wheelchair basketball. And now at the age of 57, I am dealing with the reality of a continual, slow regression in my ability to get around in the outdoors.
I have been blessed over the years with the ability to get around on my ATV, and until now I have been able to independently transfer from my chair to the wheeler without too much trouble. Unfortunately that too has become more difficult and increasingly less safe. Given the reality of my increasing limitations, I began to consider alternative options. Already familiar with the technology of today's track chairs (Action Track Chair Website), I had never seriously considered purchasing one, given their cost.
Although, the more I considered it, the more sense it made. Not only would it reduce the impact on my upper body, but a new track chair would provide opportunities which I have not experienced in years. Having a new track chair would allow me to take a stroll on the beach, fish along the river's edge, go deeper into the woods, or take a long hike with my wife through the roughest terrain, to the most remote locations imaginable – all without fear of being stuck in one spot.
As each day passes, I am increasingly excited by the prospect of going places and doing things that I haven’t been able to do for 32 years. However, given the $11,000 price tag, I am unable to do this without your help. There are some extras of course, such as lights, on-board battery charger and a carrier, but my goal is to raise enough to cover the base cost of the chair by August of this year and use the sale of my ATV to cover the extras.
Whether you can afford to contribute money, or if only to pass this along to your family and friends words cannot effectively express how grateful I would be for any help you can provide. Thank you for your assistance!
- Alex Martinez
- Denise Wall
- Pva Mid-Atlantic
- John Diehl
- Greg Wall
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