*** WE DID IT!!! But there is still so much more work to be done! Within a few hours we collected the full $10,000 for Matthew’s new wheelchair.
Anything collected over the initial goal will be puts towards Matthew’s student loans, real adaptive hand controls for his car( not the Amazon kind,) his new business start up and the accommodations needed to make life at home easier.
Matthew is also constantly using his woodworking skills to modify his house. This includes adding ramps, putting down non-skid surface materials, adapting the bathroom and widening the doors!
Matthew has been striving to make his own hardwood frames and furniture line. These funds will give him a jump start in launching House of Klos! Keep your eyes on this artist because with his new tools he’s sure to go places!!!***
Meet Matthew Klos:
On April 25th, 2016, Matthew Klos became paralyzed from a spinal cord stroke. A professional large format photographer, Mathew had led a very active lifestyle until that moment. The nerve that burst in his back left him as a T-10 paraplegic. For those of you unsure of what that means, Matthew is paralyzed from the waist down. From then on, he has required a wheelchair. Matthews says the most challenging part of this injury and new life is not knowing he will never walk again but is dealing with the chronic nerve pain 24/7. Nerve pain is both mentally and physically exhausting, and sometimes there is very little to do about it. Even in 2021, there is still minimal information on spinal cord injuries. Reading this, you probably think Matthew quit photography, right? Most people would have given up on their dream and succumb to the injury. But he did not quit his dream. He went on to complete an MFA in photography. Even with his spinal cord injury, Matthew is a very active person. He drives himself everywhere, lifting his wheelchair in and out of the car. He gets on the ground and pushes himself into places to create gorgeous large-format photographs. His most recent project is the restoration of a 1996 e36 BMW, a process he is documenting with his large-format camera. Did we mention he is doing all this while lugging around and pushing a clunky 30-pound wheelchair that is too wide, too long, and not fit correctly for him? That brings us to why this page was created. Matthew recently posted that a more ergonomic chair would be life-changing for him, but that insurance would not cover it. Friends, family, classmates from school, and even strangers started commenting on Matthews's post, and we decided to do something about it.
A professor that Matthew had in undergrad named Cig Harvey also saw his initial post last week. She immediately stepped in and asked how she could help! Before we could get an answer to her she had offered to donate one of her limited edition prints, signed, numbered and dated. Reward has now been given.
Over the years, Matthew has received multiple surgeries from pain pumps, nerve blocks to a $32,000 colostomy surgery!!! Insurance has covered all that but refuses to cover a lighter custom fit chair. A lighter custom chair would save on shoulder wear and tear and, in the long run, save insurance money as well. It would also cause less exhaustion giving Matthew more time and energy to exercise and enjoy life. Exercise is very vital for paraplegics and anyone with spinal cord injuries. Maintaining a proper weight and strong core is very important because it helps boost overall health and a better quality of life.
It would be amazing to post this story, have it run through the day, wake up, and hit our goal! Being more realistic, it would be ideal to raise the funds before Matthews's 31st birthday on March 14th and have the chair well underway by the five year anniversary of his injury on April 25th, 2021. The sooner we get the funds, the sooner Matthew's custom chair can be put into production! As the chair is custom fit, it will take a few months to build.
How A New Wheelchair Will Help Matthew:
A lighter chair will significantly improve Matthew's quality of life. It will decrease the daily stress put on his shoulders from pushing around a heavy chair. Matthews dream chair is a custom fit Panthera X, weighing only 5 pounds and costing $10,000. The lighter the chair, the heavier the price tag…thanks Big Pharma! Any amount collected over the goal will be put towards Matthews's student loans, and the start up costs his new business! As active as Matthew is now, imagine the work he will create once he's zipping around in the Panthera X!!!
Other Ways To Help:
To say Matthew is a driven individual is an understatement. He has excelled in his fine art career, mastering the art of large format and alternative process photography - an art form forgotten in the age of instant digital satisfaction. It is sad to say but while Matthew looks impressive on paper with his fine art abilities and portfolio, he is often turned down once people see his wheelchair. People, it's 2021, and we need to stop judging others because of their disabilities! In no way does being in a wheelchair affect Matthews's work ethics. And if you've read this far, you probably realize he gets more out of life than most Americans who are just living behind screens. Matthew has even created a fully adaptive darkroom, and woodshop where he makes custom hardwood frames and furniture. That is why we also suggest checking out his website www.HouseOfKlos.com and supporting Matthew's work.
Being paralyzed is hard enough. Being paralyzed and in more pain than necessary is an emotional and physical nightmare. Part of Matthews's original post compared the cost of bikes to the wheelchairs. "Look at a bicycle and then a wheelchair, not a huge difference in material. Yet, the price of the chair is often triple the price. medical companies know they have the disabled community bent over the proverbial barrel and that we are FORCED to pay." People should not have to be ashamed of their medical debt when they are stuck between a rock and hard place to make a choice as simple as purchasing the correct wheelchair. Matthew has done the big scary surgeries, followed his physical therapy schedules, eats well to maintain his weight, works in his studio to keep his mind busy and yet insurance still denies the chair because it is too expensive. Imagine becoming paralyzed through no fault of your own, following every suggested diet, physical therapy, going through the scary needed procedures/surgeries, and still being denied a simple tool that is probably the most significant part of your life. Let’s make this custom wheelchair happen for Matthew as fast as we can!
A huge thank you goes out to Matthew's partner Jessika, Cig, Ryan, Guinevere and the core group that helped launch and promote this page.
www.HouseOfKlos.com For more on Matthew follow him daily @HouseOfKlos
- Johannah Spero
- Richard Bloedorn
- Matthew Dale
- Emily Woznick
Fundraising team (4)
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