The last two weeks have blown my mind.
What started as an out of reach dream turned in to life changing awesome reality and it was all because of the kindness of others.
I posted on my personal Facebook page about problems I’d been having with my beloved NHS wheelchair breaking down numerous times, the wheelchair being unstable in certain circumstances, not being able to use it reliably or safely on public transport, it not being able to be transported in a car or cab as it cannot fold and being let down by the service responsible for fixing and maintaining the wheelchair. I also posted about an amazing wheelchair I had seen, which would erase a lot of the issues I was having with my NHS ‘chair regarding travelling around and would also act as a back-up if my NHS ‘chair broke down again.
When your whole life revolves around mobility, day to day you face not being able to attend important appointments, access transport, shops, houses, hilly areas etc sometimes it really gets you down. I had a rant. I posted of my annoyances and my dreams of a wheelchair to change our lives on my Facebook page to alleviate the stress building on my shoulders, to give me a goal to work towards achieving this new wheelchair, just to get it all out of my head.
Some of my lovely friends and family took it upon themselves to encourage me to start a GoFundMe fundraiser to raise some of the cash towards that new dream wheelchair of mine. I was completely repulsed by the idea at first, as it felt such an awful thing to do for something that technically I felt I didn’t ‘need’. There are many more people out there in need and I am much more comfortable donating to those people and organisations. I am a proud supporter of our local food bank, Kidney Research and The Brain Tumour Charity. To think of asking people for help for me was just unfathomable.
As days passed, I was flooded with texts and messages from people encouraging me, telling me and shouting at me to ‘DO IT!’. Ray and I were still so unsure and uncomfortable about the whole thing but decided if people really wanted us to, we put up the GoFundMe and got possibly even £50 towards the cost of the new wheelchair (£2,100) then that was what fate had in store for us. Whilst looking at ways to make up the rest of the cost, we reluctantly (but with thanks in our hearts to our very persuasive friends) set up the fundraiser.
This is where things get crazy.
Thanks to the kindness of others, in under a week, we received the whole amount and a few hundred more for the entire super duper new wheelchair. To say we were shocked is a complete understatement. Even now, I can’t fathom that so close to Christmas, in the midst of political turmoil that so many family, friends and strangers would choose to read, comment, share and donate to my fundraiser. I cried so many times reading wonderful comments, seeing my story shared so passionately and watching the donations come in so selflessly everything from £2 to £1100 (yes, an absolutely amazing person donated this amount!). It was so humbling and grounding to see so many caring souls come together just to help my little family and I. I also felt so much guilt, and still do, but I am trying to focus on the positive emotions from this outpouring of love.
Purchasing the new wheelchair was a joy. The team at Lith-Tech were amazingly helpful and answered every question we had.
I felt secure during every step that my investment was in safe hands and the wheelchair was just as amazing as I’d hoped. We also fell in love with their resident friendly and simply wonderful dog, Rosie. How could you not?
The ‘chair is fully insured with Fish Insurance which was another cost the fundraiser had fully covered. I do encourage everyone operating an electric wheelchair or scooter out and about to take out insurance, not only for the protection of yourself but others too.
Today, we went to our local park in my new wheelchair.
Sitting watching the fat-bellied squirrels jump from tree to tree I got all emotional again. It’s becoming a bit of a habit at this point. I’m still so overwhelmed at the cascade of support and care we received. I don’t think i’ll ever get over it. I’m working on ways I can give back, to keep the momentum of positivity flowing into 2020 and keep that Karma spreading to others.
The kindness of others. Something I’ll never, ever forget.