Over the last several months, I’ve been trying to acquire a power wheelchair that will fold up and fit into my car. Various Medicaid programs have denied my request for multiple reasons: it’s too much of a luxury to pay for, it’s too different from what we normally pay for, etc. If independence is a luxury, then I’m a little curious as to what they’re trying to prove by denying me.
Power wheelchairs are big and bulky, hundreds of pounds, and most are only transportable with a van specially modified to accommodate them.
The previous one I got many years ago cost upwards of $8,000 and granted, it does some cool tricks, but it’s unusable outside of the house and street, and the snow will soon reduce those options. Many power chairs can even cost tens of thousands of dollars. Vans equipped with the ramps are even more expensive. Right now a “normal” power wheelchair would be a glorified coat rack for all the practical use I can get from it.
There’s a power chair I found that, while not as aesthetically cool as my high school, metallic blue one with its own superhero title, would be able to accommodate my needs now as an active, working, child-chasing, improvising guy who’s more than capable of taking the wheel, so to speak. This vehicle of freedom, if I may be so bold, has a ticket price of $1,449.00. It disassembles and its heaviest piece is only 35lbs, light enough for basically anyone to pop into the back of the car. It has the farthest driving distance capabilities of any of the similar chairs, and comes with a spare battery, classy.
I can’t wait to be able to go to the park with my little boy and play basketball with him like any dad. It’ll be fantastic to perform at an improv show and be able to spontaneously enter and exit as I see fit. My days of exhausting myself wheeling all over my workplace are numbered, and I can save some of my energy for my little guy.
It’s been three years since I’ve been able to have the power of choosing where and when I want to move when out somewhere, and eight since I’ve been able to do so full-time.
If you can help, I appreciate your support, and even if you can’t. Let’s make it so you don’t have Aaron Buitron to push around anymore!
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