Hello, my name is Clifford West. I’m 57 years old, a husband, a father of 3 adult children and one 5 year old son, and a grandfather of 3. I was a Police Officer for 26 years, a job that I enjoyed because it allowed me to help people, and hopefully make a difference in the community. In 2005 I was diagnosed with Inclusion Body Myositis, an incurable progressively degenerative muscle disease that has robbed me of strength and function in both my arms and legs, forcing my retirement in 2010 due to health reasons. I’m now dependent upon a power wheelchair for mobility. My wife Leeann, who lost her job due to downsizing, not only cares for our son full time, but has become my assistant, helper and caregiver. Recently, in May I was a contestant in the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association’s Mobility Month Local Heroes Contest, trying to win a wheelchair accessible van. Although I made it into the semi-finals, unfortunately, I was not one of the winners in that contest.
My family and I remain active and involved in our Church, local Community and Charitable events, donating our time, and some money where we can. However, transportation remains an issue. Although our family car is equipped with a wheelchair lift which transports my wheelchair on the outside of the vehicle, it is exposed to the Michigan weather and other hazards including me having to transfer back and forth between the chair and car. Severe or inclement weather can and has turned me into a prisoner in my own home.
It has become apparent that I need a wheelchair accessible vehicle. This will allow me to share more in my family’s lives, especially my 5 year old son’s. I also need to add another wheelchair ramp to our home for safety reasons. Both of these are very expensive items which we were not prepared financially to handle on our own. So far, my wife Leeann and I have examined our budget and are trying to Identify and make cuts where we can in our lives. We’ve also identified and are in the process of selling seldom used, unused and unneeded items to raise money for this purpose. Family and friends are exploring all possible options to help raise the needed funds.
As a person who was self-sufficient, asking others for physical and financial help is not an easy thing to do. But, I’m left feeling like I’m between a rock and a hard place with no other choice. Please help if you can, if you can’t, I understand, times are tough. Please share this with others. Your help is appreciated and I and my family are thankful for any and all help you can provide.
Sincerely; Clifford West and Family.
- See more at: http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/cliff-s-mobility-freedom-fund/205533#sthash.buARhK3b.dpuf
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