Wednesday, April 14, 2010
wheelchair van: the throaty growl of freedom
Even Dodge in its latest TV commercial acknowledges "There are guys who will smirk at you for buying a Dodge Grand Caravan ..."
Throw in a lowered floor for wheelchair accessibility and a disability parking placard hanging from the rear view mirror and you have zero intimidation factor when pulling up to a stop light and glancing over at bikers on Harleys or youngens in roadsters.
That is until I rev our engine. For whatever reason the undercarriage modifications to accommodate the lowered floor in our Dodge Grand Caravan Sport minivan produce a throaty growl from the exhaust. With a recently replaced muffler and tail pipe that growl now roars, yeah baby!!
It is bemusing to watch the heads on Harleys and youngens in thumping cars snap their heads to see what on earth is thundering next to them. "There are guys who will gape slack-jawed as you thunder up in your wheelchair accessible Dodge Grand Caravan ..." :)
More than a vehicle this is freedom on wheels for Patti. With Multiple Sclerosis progression Patti is unable to transfer herself to and from a wheelchair and a vehicle. Patti's level of disability makes assisted transferring to and from vehicles a risk to both her and anyone assisting her. Without our wheelchair accessible van Patti's life would be more isolated and different than frankly can be imagined.
All the more ... shouldn't freedom have a throaty growl?
Like so many aspects of living with MS, it took team work, NMSS Central Pennsylvania Chapter pointed us in the direction of Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) which brokered through Sovereign Bank a low interest 6 yr loan. MS Society Central Pennsylvania Chapter also was able to help us with an assistance grant that basically covered 15% of that first year's monthly payments. We have been fortunate enough to receive additional assistance grants to help make Patti's freedom of mobility a bit more affordable in 2 of the past 3 years. ... and you wondered what charitable fundraising does?
This Sunday our wheelchair van will be growling its way over to Hershey, PA for the MS Walk. Thanks to the generosity of on-line donations and old fashioned checks to be turned in, Patti's Pride team has surpassed its goal and will be be taking a victory roll /lap. And for a few brief hours on one day of the year living with MS will not be the exception.
Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer
web site: http://caregivinglyyours.com/
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