Wheels for Michele

To know her is to love her!!  Michele is an amazing woman who I have known for over 20 years. We met when she was my boss and we have been great friends since.

Michele has had quite a time this past year.  You see, Michele has a very aggressive form of MS called Relapsing Remitting for over 20 years.  She has been in a wheel chair for 10 years and will likely never walk again.  Her wheelchair is her legs and she relies on help day and night to help her around the house. 

Just before her daughter’s wedding in October, she fell when using the bathroom at night by herself and fractured both her tibia and fibia in her leg.  This was extremely painful and she could bear no weight on it at all for months.    She desperately wanted to attend her daughter's wedding but trying to find a van service where they could accomodate her chair was very difficult and costly.  She was finally,  at the last minute, able to find a service, but they only travel to certain counties and don't normally take you to anything but doctor visits. 

Michele was basically trapped in her house for months. The only times she could leave were when the van was available for scheduled doctor visits. Not only was she confined to her wheelchair but now she was confined to her house.

When her leg was finally starting to heal a few months later, she was celebrating her youngest son’s 21st birthday and while being transferred from her travel wheelchair, she was very weak and someone dropped her and she broke her other leg this time.  This one was less painful, but again no weight bearing, etc.    Every time she transfers into a car from her chair and back it's very exhausting and dangerous for her and potentially her helpers as well.

If you aren’t familiar with what it takes to go somewhere when you are wheelchair bound, let me give you an example.  First she will drive her electric wheelchair outside and get as near to the car as possible at just the right spot.  Next she will try to pull herself up on the door of the car with assistance from help, to lock her knees.  She then will swing her hips onto the seat of the car.  We then untwist her legs and put them in the car for her.  This is quite exhausting for her.  The help will drive her chair back into the house and come back with her travel wheelchair and put this in the trunk.  After you arrive at your destination, you will get the chair from the trunk and open her car door.  You will get the chair in just the right place and lock the wheels.  Now she, with assistance again, will pull herself up onto the door again (you have to be sure the door is steady and doesn’t pull shut, etc).  We swing her hips over and get her into the travel chair.  This chair is non-electric.  People don’t hold doors.  It’s crazy up and down hills or even over big cracks in the sidewalks, etc.    Shew!!  All of these transfers can be dangerous and how she, among many others, break bones, get dropped, etc. 

So, what do we need from you?  The Area 10 Agency has an amazing program that I want Michele to benefit from.  Their program will transform a regular van into a wheelchair accessible van that she can drive her electric wheelchair (her legs) right into.  Someone else can drive her anywhere she wants to go!!  This would drastically change her life and allow her so much more freedom than she has had in the past 10 years.  I am asking for your help with monetary donations to go toward the van, insurance, license plates, etc.  You have no idea how much this would change her life and make her mobile.  For her to be able to easily and safely go to a restaurant, a movie, visit friends, go "walk" on a local trail, doctor visits, etc – things that we may take for granted – for her this would be amazing! 

Anything that you can donate will be appreciate and all proceeds go directly to the purchase of the van, insurance, license plates, gas, etc.  Thank you in advance for your time and help!  We hope you will help Michele on this journey!  

Please also share our page with your friends.  I can't tell you how much your donations mean to her and how  this van will improve her quality of life!


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Nancy Emerson 
Bloomington, IN
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