Helping Hina

Thank you for checking out my GoFundMe! For those who don't know me, my name's Hina & I'm a 33 year old paraplegic loving life in Hawaii. My spinal chord injury occured when I was 11 years old as a result of malpractice during spinal surgery for my scoliosis or curvature of the spine. This incident was the last of 4 surgeries & 2 bouts with cancer that I faced throughout my childhood from the age of 9 months old. The last 22 years living in a wheelchair hasn't been easy. But with family & friends supporting me, I learn every day to adjust & make the most of my circumstance, living life as best as I can.
Recently I've been inspired after discovering other people in wheelchairs & seeing how even more independent one can be even with a chair. I follow several Instagram & Facebook pages that have introduced me to the latest innovative equipment available to assist people with disabilities, one of them being the SmartDrive by MAX Mobility. It's a power assist attachment for manual wheelchairs that can power people up steep ramps, sidewalks, hills & through thick carpets for miles enabling them to rediscover their independence. However, unless it's covered by insurance, it is costly.
While I'm grateful for my powerchair that I primarily use, there are occasions that I need to transfer to my older manual wheelchair for medical appointments, family events & any outings or trips somewhere that doesn't accommodate a power chair. My manual wheelchair isn't my favorite because it's so limiting. I'm often unable to wheel myself around due to my physical limitations & need to wait for someone to push me. This can be frustrating...having that feeling of helplessness.
What's also difficult is becoming optimistic about being independent using the latest innovations only to be questioned by insurance companies about your need for the medical equipment & being denied assistance simply based on policy. After requesting coverage TWICE to help cover the cost of a SmartDrive, I was DENIED TWICE because anything contributing to activities outside the home is recreation which they're not obligated to cover.
I was hoping to use my very own SmartDrive on a family trip coming up. After being denied coverage, I wasn't exactly looking forward to spending my trip limited in my manual wheelchair 24/7. I was faced with a decision...give up or front the cost out of my own pocket.
Living in a wheelchair, I've learned just how much one thing, one piece of equipment can greatly IMPACT & IMPROVE everyday life for a person with a disability. And after testing out a demo SmartDrive, for the first time I didn't feel completely helpless in my manual chair. To have that FREEDOM of moving around independently, it's PRICELESS.
So with GoFundMe, I'm reaching out for help funding the cost of my SmartDrive. Any amount would be a great help & I will be forever GRATEFUL. Thank you again for taking the time to visit my GodFundMe page & reading my story...God Bless.



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Hina Antone 
Kaneohe, HI
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