RLA Grants for Wheelchair Users

$100 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 1 person in 11 months
My name is Ross Lasley.

I never had any significant health problems in my life until I turned 40 and my back started to hurt 

In 2013 I had an MRI and ended up in a surgeons office. Turned out I had 4 herniated discs that had broken away from the spine and were floating down the column. Significant physical nerve damage had occurred and 24 hours after I met my surgeon I was being operated on emergency style.

I was told that if I didn't have surgery I'd definitely be paralyzed. 

When I woke up I was amazed - nothing hurt. I felt fixed and the pain that had made me bedridden for a month was just gone.

The next day I noticed that my legs felt like they were asleep and they were pretty numb - but at least it didn't hurt.

In 2015 I was diagnosed with neuropathy - an incurable disease of the nervous system that is progressive. Oh - and it's also a chronic pain condition. Imagine if your body was like an old farmhouse and none of the wires quite worked right. Sometimes the lights get bright or dim and sometimes they don't turn on at all while you often hear that lovely electric crackling sound. 

While the exact cause of neuropathy remains unknown it is highly likely mine is related to physical damage to my spinal cord. 

After my spine surgery I kind of learned to walk again. And then slowly - over time - my legs stopped working.

First it was my right leg - so I needed a cane. Then it was both legs sometimes, so I went to cuff crutches. Finally I transitioned into a wheelchair in 2016 - happy Thanksgiving. 

As my physical pain increased I found I was unable to work.

I am now permanently disabled and will live the rest of my life on wheels. I take 47 pills a day and eat medications every 12 hours. 

Acquired disability is a little different than other types - it creates a change in your life that in my opinion can only truly be understood by those that have experienced it.

Lots of acquired disability wheelchair users are angry - very angry.  I was a high powered Internet Executive guy - I understand that in a way I wish I didn't. 

Today I need to change the type of contribution I can make to the world. 

So I want to help people like me learn about the digital world. 

Digital enriches the life of disabled people in so many ways - support groups, learning about treatments, and maybe even the chance to make a few dollars. 

Ross Lasley Academy Grants allow disabled people to get the digital education, equipment, and personal 1-2-1 counseling they need to enjoy the digital world. 

As the expectation is to primarily support newly disabled adults funds will also be used to provide disability equipment and support services for students. 

It will cost approximately $10,000 to support an acquired disability wheelchair user for one year. 

This campaign is to provide one year of digital joy to 10 wheelchair users.
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$100 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 1 person in 11 months
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Alex Suero
11 months ago
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