First off, thank you for taking the time to visit this campaign and read my story. I am stubborn, and it’s extremely difficult for me to ask for help; however, life has had different plans for me. Through progression of an undiagnosed neurological ataxia, I have become dependent on figuring out some alternative ways to keep ahead of life.
In short summary, I could use your help in obtaining an accessible bathroom and vehicle hand controls. Please, read on more for in depth information.
While I can still use forearm crutches to get around for very short distances, within the last year and a half I’ve become a wheelchair user. Our current house, which I purchased eight years ago (at the peak of the market), is mostly accessible, until you get to the bathroom, which needs to be completely renovated to accommodate my increasing need for wheelchair use. After researching what would need to be done to change this, we realized the modifications would be quite expensive and decided it would make more sense to try and sell our current house and purchase a home that will better meet our long-term needs. Fortunately, the market has finally rebounded enough to allow us to do this; we should come pretty close to breaking even on the sale of our house.
As it turns out, accessible ranch homes are nearly impossible to find within our area and price range in this real estate market, and our price-range feels like it should be adequate! The homes that seem to come the closest to meeting our needs are daylight ranches with the master bedroom and all functional living space on the main level, but everything in our price range is still going to need some considerable renovation for accessibility. The few homes already accessible have been vastly out of our budget. Our current house is on the market, and as I type, details and documents are flying for a serious offer.
So the first of my two requests with this campaign: we could use a little extra financial assistance to get into the next house, so we can afford an accessible move-in ready home or modify a home to be completely wheelchair accessible for our long-term needs.
And that brings me to the second of my two requests. With my progressive symptoms, the sensation, control, and coordination of my feet has been declining. I’ve known for quite a while that vehicle hand controls were going to be a part of my future, and earlier this spring, feeling like that time was approaching, I started the process with Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation to get ready for when the time truly arrives. Through the process, I’ve been a bit of a conundrum to Vocational Rehab. Their primary role is to help disabled people who are not working get back into and keep a job. Well, I have a job, a good job, and I am needing this assistance so I can continue having that job. Vocational Rehabilitation is helping me through the process, but given most all of their clients are non-working when applying for their services, I’ll only qualify for partial funding based on my income.
Thankfully I did get an early start on this process as what I was trying to stay ahead of has now become a present reality, while I am still in the process. I’ve not been involved in an accident on account of this, but my commute, and any driving has become more stressful to me. About two weeks ago, I finally had a Functional Capacity Evaluation done, and the report came back stating that I am not safe to drive without vehicle hand controls. That’s a problem! Alright, really more of a complication. Fortunately, it is possible for me to perform my job/occupation 100% remotely (from home), and my workplace has been graciously working through the steps in allowing me to work from home, full-time, on an interim basis until I have a vehicle equipped with hand controls.
So for the last week and a half, I have joined the non-driving population of this world. Thankfully my supportive wife has been excellent in providing chauffeur duties for the necessary errands, and I’m still able to get out of the house to ride my trike for some exercise. As it is a lengthy and expensive process to actually get hand controls (we have been given no approximation of how much longer), we are deciding to try and get into a pickup for my long-term needs so I can better haul around my wheelchair as well as my Paratriathlete hopeful gear, including race wheelchair, recumbent trike, and the potential, future handcycle. If you have anything to spare, we could really use some financial assistance in getting into the new support vehicle and paying for the portion of hand controls that Vocational Rehabilitation will not cover for me.
Those of you who already know me have likely been following my blog efforts at http://www.kippitmoving.com and have probably been wondering why things have been so quiet for the last month… Well, now you know, I’ve been more than a little busy and stressed trying to manage both of these major life changes hitting at the same time. Any assistance you can provide will help get me back to blogging on a regular basis again and exercising the needed amount to keep my old-self happy. You will also contribute to my aspirations of being a Paratriathlete and add fuel to my efforts of becoming a true advocate for the disabled sports community.
If you’ve just stumbled upon my personal fundraising campaign and would like to get to know me, please check out my story at http://www.kippitmoving.com/about/ . Thank you to all for reading through this and for any consideration or help you might be able to provide!