My lifelong friend Kevin Dey recently asked for my help with a problem he was having. I would like to extend Kevin’s request for help to some old friends, new friends and family.
Kevin is currently having a problem with being able to leave his apartment because of his Multiple Sclerosis (MS) condition. He can no longer raise his arm high enough to reach or turn the door knob to open his door. In order to go outside, he needs to call someone to come over and let him out. For many months Kevin has thought about and tried to come up with a manual way for him to open the door, but has not been successful.
For over 26 years, MS has slowly chipped away at Kevin’s mobility. According to Kevin, initially MS “was just in the way” it did not affect him too much. Unfortunately the MS went to his legs and continued to get worse and worse making him wheelchair bound. The MS eventually precluded Kevin from working any longer. It proceeded to his upper body and arms which makes it difficult for him to raise his arms and has diminished the dexterity of his hands and fingers. Nowadays, the only way Kevin can use his computer is through his voice. At this point in time, the best way for Kevin to use or control things is through his voice.
Kevin says a voice activated automatic door opener would give him the flexibility to go in and out to his doctor’s appointments, be able to just go outside and get some fresh air, or be able to take a ride around his Project Freedom apartment complex. Kevin needs to go to the Project Freedom office for a variety of things. He says sometimes people deliver fruit to the office and he would like to go and get some. Despite Kevin’s disabilities, his positive outlook on life and his great sense of humor has not been diminished at all. Kevin says jokingly “that if you don’t get to the fruit first you don’t get any, so all he wants is to have his fruit and a LARGE ORANGE DRINK!” referring to a 80’s comedy skit click here to listen .
With Kevin’s limited use of his hands, another thing I would like to help Kevin with is a way to turn his lights on and off. He used to have a lamp that he could just touch to turn it on, but that lamp broke and would no longer work for his situation anyway. Kevin has a new friend the Amazon Echo. Kevin can now talk to Alexa, the Echo digital assistant to call friends and family, play music, get weather and news. I would like to add some home automation devices so Kevin can ask Alexa to turn lights on & off or control the temperature of his apartment just by using his voice.
Kevin doesn't want to be a burden to any of us, but I am asking your help for a friend in need. We are blessed to have a friend like Kevin, and Kevin is blessed to have friends and family like us.
Thank you for anything you can contribute to help make this happen! - Bob
- Marissa DelloRusso
- Gabe Sturzoiu
- Benji, David, Jake, and Hannah
- Danielle Kushner
- Barbara Benson
Organizer and beneficiary
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