I need some help here desperately. My name is Chris Lanham and I'm a c5 quad from a motor vehicle accident 12 years ago. I have worked in the Louisville area for several years as an advocate, case manager, and resource guide for individuals with disabilities.
Saturday night, I got caught in the rain and ended up shorting out my controller for the powerchair I can drive my van from. It's looking like anywhere from $800-$1200 to get a new one. My insurance will not cover the repairs/replacement because voc rehab paid for the chair as part of my IEP to get me back into the workforce. There are still several other repairs needing to be done, but this one is necessary to get the chair running.
I'd purchase a new one pay day, but with recent budget cuts from the state to programs that serve individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, I've lost almost 10 clients that I served as their case manager. This has reduced my pay by about 2/3. I've continued to serve these clients pro-Bono until secondary funding can be implemented.
If any of you guys know what's been going on over the past 2 years, I've sold just about anything of value I have over the past 2 years to supplement my income to maintain my chair, van, and apartment. Guns, rc cars, ammo, fishing stuff, car audio, card collections, etc have all been flipped out to maintain my independence. I'm not one to complain by any means, because the sacrifices my family has made doesn't amount anywhere near the value of these items. Plus they are all material items that can be replaced.
My family has rallied around me endlessly over these past few years and I can't keep asking them to carry the burden of what could be labeled as a systematic issue with support services for the working disabled. I dunno how many nights I've had my mother or other friend/family working on chairs, pushing me into the house, or rescuing me from other precarious situations. My Grandfather has worked on this chair fixing issues that should have been covered under warranty if I'd pay a DME to work on it, but most want you to drop the chair off for a few weeks while they charge you $75 an hour to service it. My mother has actually spent the past several days this week working on trying to get me mobile either in the original chair or a back-up chair that barely limps around the house. Just yesterday she spent 14+ hours wrenching away, and that's not uncommon in past situations.
If any of you guys know of any resources or organizations that could lend a hand, I'd greatly appreciate it. I'm not for sure I can pull out of this situation in time. This flat spin is slowly turning into a downward spiral. Any help will be used on repairing the chair. Thanks Guys
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