A Wheelchair for Marguerite

Marguerite lives in a care home in south Nanaimo.  She is a delightful lady that maintains a very positive outlook and attitude in spite of the great difficulties that she faces on a daily basis.  Marguerite has Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and has lost the use of her muscles below her neck.  My wife and I have known Marguerite for the last 7+ years.  We met her when we started to help with conducting church services at her care home through our involvement with The Salvation Army Church in Nanaimo.

When we met Marguerite she had a head-controlled electric wheelchair which gave her a degree of mobility and independence. She would regularly take the handi-bus into Nanaimo and "stroll" along the waterfront.  That wheelchair quit working in May of 2019 after 14 years of use and was not repairable.  Since May, Marguerite has been sitting every day in a regular manual wheelchair that offers her no mobility or independence and also does not fit her well, causing her constant discomfort and pain.  Except when friends come by to take her out, she has been unable to leave her home for most of this year.  The process to apply for funding for a replacement wheelchair, which we're told typically takes about 3 months, has taken much longer than usual. Marguerite found out in early December that the Ministry of Health has approved funding towards a replacement chair but has rejected the application for several important features.

Marguerite's previous chair had powered leg rests that she could adjusted using her head controls to relieve pain and discomfort without requiring the assistance of an attendant.  The funding offered by the ministry would only cover leg rests that must be adjusted manually by an able-bodied attendant.  Her previous chair also had a power backrest that she could adjust to a range of different positions which was also essential to manage pain and discomfort.  The replacement wheelchair for which funding has been approved has a fixed backrest.  Another item that was on her previous chair but not covered by the funding is the "attendant control" that allows someone else to drive the wheelchair when Marguerite is unable.  This is very important for getting the wheelchair into and out of vehicles and other tight spaces where Marguerite's limited field of vision makes it very difficult to avoid obstacles and get the wheelchair into the right position. The final piece of equipment that Marguerite would love to have included in her new wheelchair is an elevate feature which would allow her to raise herself up to see over counters, to interact with others at eye level, to view signs, artwork, etc and get someone's attention when she would often otherwise be overlooked.

As I'm sure that you would expect, this equipment is very expensive.  In order to fund the purchase of a wheelchair with these options, we need to raise an additional $14,421.  We are seeking funding from every source that we can identify including the MS Society and local service clubs.

Please consider contributing to the cost of Marguerite's new wheelchair and help to make this Christmas one to remember!  When we told her about the first donations that we received, Marguerite was overwhelmed with gratitude!  If you donate before Christmas and you would like to send Marguerite a Christmas greeting, please send it to awc4ms@gmail.com.  If you record a short (5-10 second) video greeting, we will put all of the videos together and play them all for Marguerite for Christmas.

Merry Christmas and God Bless you!

ps. Advanced Mobility in Nanaimo has graciously offered to accept donations on Marguerite's behalf.  If you prefer to make your donation directly to them, please just let us know so we can track our progress towards the goal!

Advanced Mobility Products Ltd
Address: 4-2227 Wilgress Rd, Nanaimo, BC V9S 4N3
Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30a.m.–5p.m.
Phone: (250) 751-3735

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Organizer

Brandalyn Musial 
Organizer
Nanaimo, BC
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