48% of $6,000 goal
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Big Beautiful Life Adventure Chair Program
Big Beautiful Life, in collaboration with North Country Federal Union, is creating a program which provides an Adventure Chair ( Extreme Motus ) to an organization which will heavily utilize it in its existing programs and create a lending program to our community members who are significantly physically disabled. In the Greater Burlington (Vermont) Area, this program is Partners In Adventure. Join us in inviting these often over looked and isolated members of our community to enjoy local activities and natural areas (Indian Brook, Shelburne Pond, nature trails, etc.) by donating today. Let's help our neighbors get out and live a Big Beautiful Life!
Nicole was born April 13, 2000 with a serious infection that halted her brain development at month two in utero, and continued to damage and calcify her brain tissue throughout the full-term pregnancy. This left Nicole to journey through life with cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and a compromised respiratory system, unable to use her limbs, walk or talk. Despite her physical and cognitive limitations, Nicole loved life, her family and the outdoors. In the early years, Nicole loved strolls in her jogger-like adaptive stroller, but as she grew she transitioned into a wheelchair. Despite our family’s best efforts on wheel sizes, tire types and hand brake trials, the wheelchairs became very limiting. Special-needs wheelchairs are extremely heavy (and for safety have anti-tip bars that catch up on everything!) - and can only safely navigate concrete or pavement paths. Grass, uneven surfaces, etc are impassable. This really limited where and when Nicole could join us. Grassy parks, nature trails and beaches would require us to carry her - which was not always safe, and as she reached over 70 pounds, not possible. We rented a beach wheelchair from recreation departments during our visits to Old Orchard Beach, ME and that is when we learned the magic of over-sized wheels combined with a lightweight chair. However, the issue with those white plastic beach wheelchairs are they are very basic, fixed upright and high off the ground, limited with belts for safety and no running brakes, just a parking brake. Frustrated, I was in the constant search for an adult sized jogger stroller and discovered Extreme Motus. We bought Nicole an Extreme Motus off-road wheelchair for her 21st birthday. In preparation for the unveil, we created a recreational wood-chipped trail around our wooded and hilly property. On April 13, 2021, Nicole took her first cruise SAFELY all over our yard, in our woods, and up and down steep hills with ease. We were finally able to take her jogging, hiking, corn mazes, apple picking, and to the local beach as a family. The off-road wheel-chair floats, so we could go right into the water for a safe and quick way to cool down. Nicole LOVED this chair, it opened her world and our options as a family. No longer did we have to park her at the edge of rough terrain, or separate our family. We could all go together, no matter the destination! Nicole only used this chair for her last year of life, passing on April 28, 2022. I felt strongly this special chair needed special consideration on its next home but wasn’t able to focus on this through my grief. On March 9, 2023, I fractured my knee in a freak ocean accident. The plan had been to go to Old Orchard Beach on Nicole’s passing day - which was fulfilled when I became the user of Nicole’s Extreme Motus chair. I was able to be with my husband and in-laws, rolling on the sand, just as Nicole had done, coming full circle to appreciate not only the impact of the chair as a mom and caregiver but also as a non-ambulatory person. Isolation, separation, missing out on adventures and the great outdoors are all erased with this incredible off-road wheelchair. - Nicole's mom, Laura
Thoughts from Partners In Advanture
Extreme Motus: Aka: Game Changer
Please remember that there are those of us who rely on support to go and do what people without disabilities can go and do with little thought or assistance.. Without support and adequate adapted equipment, people with disabilities are excluded, left behind, or left to watch from an accessible spot.
Hiking a trail or walking down to the water’s edge on a sandy beach was nearly impossible before the Extreme Motus came along. Just like that barriers are dismissed, and exclusion disintegrates. This beautifully adapted piece of equipment opens up so many possibilities for people who need mobility assistance over tricky terrain, and unlike other adapted equipment, the Motus is lightweight and easy to tote along for the ride!
Help be a game changer! Please support this worthwhile project! - Joan Martin, Executive Director, Partners in Adventure
See it in Action!
We look forward to creating an annual program supporting other communities in Vermont and then expanding to other states!