- What my conditions are
- Why I need to use a wheelchair
- Why I need a wheelchair with features adapted to my needs
Hello, my name is Jasper and I’m raising money so that I can get a new wheelchair appropriate for my needs after my previous one (pictured) broke after many years of use. As I am a postgraduate student who also does a lot of extra-curricular activities and goes to many medical appointments, not moving long distances isn’t really a feasible option, so a wheelchair is my life line and a replacement is vital.I got a wheelchair 3 years ago which got me from being bed-bound and unable to attend lectures or leave the house, to being almost fully independent despite how my conditions affect me, and going back to no wheelchair is not possible.
Thanks to some serious bad luck, I have a collection of chronic illnesses. I have three main conditions that affect my mobility: Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS), Postural orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (PoTS), and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME).
EDS is a genetic connective tissue disorder that means I experience frequent dislocations, joint pain, and chronic fatigue, along with other problems such as easily damaged skin. As this condition has progressed, dislocations have occurred more regularly, and walking or moving for any length of time greatly increases the risk of hip and knee dislocations in particular. I am often in severe pain, which prevents me from being able to do or concentrate on anything else, and is very draining. It has led to multiple hospital admissions; however, using a wheelchair helps to prevent the need for some of these. Without a wheelchair, I would become housebound due to the extreme severity of pain, injury and consequential symptoms that going out on foot would cause me.
PoTS means that my blood pressure and heart rate don’t adjust well to postural changes, and this can lead to me feeling dizzy, fainting, and shortness of breath. For this reason, I can’t stand for very long and need to frequently sit down.
ME is a neuro-immune condition causing extreme fatigue, as well as muscle & joint pain, headaches and cognitive symptoms such as memory impairment. This means that even a small activity can lead to a lot of physical and mental exertion on my body, and results in not being able to go far unaided without the risk of health consequences and it takes a long time to recover.
There are also lots of other symptoms that these conditions, and the combination of them, cause me to experience. This includes being at risk of falls, and the health consequences these are likely to cause given my conditions. Wheelchair use protects me from this, and also gives me some protection from people touching or otherwise contacting me in a way that would inadvertently hurt me; this would cause issues that would result in damaged skin at best and a dislocation in need of hospitalisation at worst.
The new wheelchair I need is a Küschall Champion; this is due to the fact that it folds small to fit in my small accessible studio, and is lightweight enough that it can be picked up and put in vehicles to help take me places; while avoiding dislocations and pain doing so. However, due to issues gaining financial support, I need to fundraise this myself.
If you wish to donate outside of GoFundMe, please contact me. Other ways that help me are through sharing or donating to my PayPal. Thank you to everyone in advance, anything and everything helps.
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