Life is a never-ending series of adjustments, isn’t it?
Recently a friend who had polio tore and injured her shoulders. The damage was so extensive that continuing to walk with crutches is far too dangerous for her to do, not to mention, way too difficult. Arms and shoulders can only drag paralyzed legs around for so long. Upper limbs doing all the work can simply wear out after 65-plus years.
Now it’s time for her to think about driving a car in a whole new and different way. Crutch-walking doesn’t work anymore. And she still wants to drive independently. So, her new option is riding her scooter into a car, then transferring to the driver’s seat, rather than walking up to the driver’s seat the way she always did.
It is extremely costly to purchase the kind of vehicle she very much needs, but it is possible. A new or even used adapted van can cost over $60,000.00. Converting a used van can cost around $30,000.00 and take 16 weeks.
Having a disability is often a crazy-expensive proposition. That’s why folks sometimes look to others for financial support when times get tough. Finding financial assistance isn’t easy, but it is possible. One woman recently found help for a new adapted van on the Gofundme website. Now she can continue to work and contribute to the community. Luckily, my family helped me buy mine, awhile back.
If you ever have a chance to help someone purchase an adapted van, your generosity can change their lives in a huge wonderful way.
Have you ever seen an adapted van up close? I’d like to invite you take a minute to witness the delight that comes with this product of ingenious mechanical engineering!
May I show you mine?
People think my car is fascinating. And they are absolutely right.
My Dodge Entervan by BraunAbility is an engineering marvel that gives me independence and freedom in spite of my post-polio paralysis.
I drive with hand controls that are attached to the steering mechanism, brake and accelerator pedals. To get to the driver’s seat:
- I click my remote key fob which opens the sliding door.
- Then I enter my minivan by way of an electric ramp that comes down. That ramp allows me to roll into the car as I ride on my electric scooter.
- I then transfer from the scooter seat into the rotating driver’s seat, which with a lever, electrically turns, then slides forward, taking me up to the steering wheel.
- Then I push a button. The ramp folds into the car as the door closes.
- Positioned for comfortable driving, I turn on the ignition, fasten the seat belt, and off I go in my 007 car!
Ah yes. James Bond would love it! In fact, being fortunate enough to own this car can suddenly propel a driver like me into wild illusionary James Bond moments…well, for me…”Jane Bond” moments…
There I am… multi-lingual, charming, impeccably dressed, connoisseur of fine food and drink, daring, always ready for any fast situation change, quick to pick up on cutting edge technology, off to exotic destinations, not to mention–a martial arts expert, and…
Whoa!…snapping out of this recurring spell… it’s undeniable that I really do cherish this vehicle to freedom!
When it’s filled with good friends, that’s the best. After closely checking out my Entervan, many of my initially-intrigued passengers are now true appreciators of how we can all be together when we take my car. I drive. They volunteer to chip in for gas, and off we go!
But, upon greater reflection, it’s the random parking lot encounters that have generated some of the most delightful responses from people. Friendly counter-spies on the streets. Folks I’ve never seen before. There I am, minding my own business, rolling in or out of the car. Then. Someone happens to walk near. Captivated with honest regard and amazement, they crane their necks while walking by or stop dead in their tracks, stare intently and provide a sudden comment. Here are a few:
- One mail carrier who pulled her truck up next to me in a parking lot casually stopped, mailbag in hand, watched, tilted her head and commented with a big smile, “Wow! That’s a reee-al fancy car! Gives you a lot of independence.”
- One youngster exclaimed, “Look Mom! She’s going up that drawbridge backwards!”
As the ramp came up and the door closed, I couldn’t hear how his Mom explained this
enchanted King Arthur moment to him…
- Then there was the unforgettable comment from the young supermarket courtesy clerk who carried my groceries to the car one night. She was a teenage gothic punkster with jet-black hair and a pierced nose ring. As the car kneeled and the ramp lowered, she exclaimed, “Far out! I’ve seen pimped cars in movies, but this one is the best!”
How might you respond if you personally saw this car in operation?
Have a look. Two of us made this Jane Bond video so you could check it out too. Do be sure to click on the sound when you watch… (smile)…
After being a passenger in my car with me many times, one dear friend reflected,
“So, Jane Bond, I actually think you are quite a spectacle (in a good way of course!) when 007 goes into action. It’s like watching something very intimate–a modern miracle–that is not only the transformation of a vehicle, but at a deeper level, the transformation of a life. How great is that?!”
Thanks for Reading,
A special thanks to Erin Elly, Rosalie Meyer, Kris Konecny, and Susan Rasmussen for thoughts, photographs, videos and quotations!
P.S. Am looking forward to traveling to The Villages in Florida on February 12th to present at their post-polio support group meeting. The title of the presentation will be “Let’s Think Together, Then Let’s Clink Together.” We will focus on the power of gratitude. It should be a lot of fun!
Here’s a related post: http://www.sunnyrollerblog.com/lets-clink-our-champagne-glasses/
Here’s a related good book (chapter 4)… :
Contact Barbara Meyers, presentation host, for more information at: meyers2