(by Andy Huesing, Co-founder of Tadpole Adaptive)
One of the best parts of working with families is getting them just the right piece of “gear” that makes a difference. As a wheelchair user I know all to well how the right item can make all the difference!
We do tend to get calls from families needing things in a hurry for a trip, vacation, getaway, etc. This story is the best one so far!
Julie called about getting a pair of SideStix Boundless Pro Crutches for her 12 year old son William. It turns our William was going on camping trip, in the snow to Yosemite with his Boy Scout Troop in just a few weeks… He got them in time and had an amazing trip; we had to hear all about and really wanted to share with everybody!
William has Arthrogryposis restricting his joints, has shortened tendons and limited range of motion… but you’d never know it. William does more than most of his peers (combined) Karate, Paintball, Surfing, Handcycling and now hiking in the snow. He pretty much makes us all look like slackers.
He also has an innate sense of fairness that is inspiring. One time his school had a Walk-a-Thon and he wanted to participate. They gave him a small circle to do laps in with his hand cycle. He felt is wasn’t fair so he asked for a bigger loop so he would cover the same distance as the other kids doing laps. Once, on a paintball outing while trying to keep his distance, he even acted as ‘bait’ for his team!
William never gets down about having to make trade-offs for inclusion. With his Boy Scout Troop he’s been happy to accept alternatives to activities he may struggle with. What’s great is that his troop is honest with him, they will always discuss things openly with him. He told me that one of his biggest fears is holding others back. I can totally relate to that! That is one of my hardest things to cope with with my disability too. I can only imagine how hard it is with your 12 year old peers.