Midge (also known as Claire Walling) is a 46-year-old with severe mobility difficulties. Please help her buy a wheelchair adapted vehicle in order to be more mobile and continue assistance training with her dog, Bert. Even the smallest amount can make a very big difference to Midge’s quality of life.
What Does Midge Need?
Please help her get a wheelchair adapted vehicle – one which contains a ramp for loading and unloading her powerchair, which is large enough to comfortably and safely carry Bert too. Secondhand wheelchair adapted vehicles, or ‘WAVs’ as they’re known in the trade are surprisingly easy to find through dealers – most of them being vehicles returned after lease on the Motability scheme, a scheme Midge has participated in in the past, but now, due to her more specific needs for built in equipment and hand controls, are more than she can afford. A vehicle which already has the required ramp built in could then be fitted with any additional fittings needed specifically for Midge’s needs, and this is what we really need to raise funds to help her with.
This really would be a life changing thing for Midge. At present, she lives a very isolated existence away from friends and family, and this predicament also means that whilst she can visit her family and friends, she and Bert can’t actually participate in things with them very much when she does see them.Why Does She Need It?
Midge spends most of her time in a wheelchair due to Psoriatic Arthritis, a rare type of autoimmune disease, not unlike Rheumatoid Arthritis, but unlike R.A., it affects the smaller bones as well as the larger ones, plus ligaments and tendons. Mainly, it is her mobility and dexterity which are most affected, and her reliance on Bert for assistance with daily tasks is growing.
Bert was lucky enough to acquire a place to commence training with the charity Dog AID (Assistance In Disability) in January of 2018, and is now on his second of three levels of training which he needs to pass before he will become a fully qualified registered Assistance Dog with ADUK. It is hoped that eventually he will be able to assist her with dressing and undressing, showering, cooking, using a washing machine, fetching, finding and retrieving specific objects, and other things, as well as continuing to be her best friend and very good boy.
Due to increased problems in mobility, Midge is becoming unable to use a manual wheelchair and needs to rely on an electric wheelchair, but unfortunately this will not fit in her current vehicle. She lives alone and does not have the ability to put the chair into her car. Training sessions outside the home at the moment are very difficult, as many of Bert’s assessments take place in supermarkets, town centres and shopping centres – Bert’s trainer is a hugely experienced and devoted lady in her seventies, and not in a position to be hauling equipment or pushing wheelchairs, nor is it her job in a role where she is promoting Midge’s independence.About Midge
Claire Walling is a fiercely independent former Youth Worker who lives in West Wales with her best friend, companion and trainee Assistance Dog, Bert. He was rescued from the Southern Bulgarian countryside in June 2017 in a very poor and neglected state, and after a fairytale ‘love at first sight’ experience, made his way 2000 miles home to Midge, and they have been inseparable ever since.