Every year Alternatives in Motions helps give the gift of mobility to those in need. We'd like to share some of these stories with you. Want more stories? Use the links on the left to read more.
My name is Carol Schilling. I have Multiple Sclerosis, Fibromyalgia, and Rheumatoid Arthritis. I use a scooter provided by Alternatives in Motion for longer trips to places like the grocery store, library, park, movie theatre, museums, and more. The scooter helps to conserve my limited energy and allows me to continue participating in the lives of my children and the activities in my community. My energy level fluctuates daily and I struggle with the side effects of multiple medications on a daily basis.
I recently took my scooter to Washington, Kansas to train for my successor service dog, Tortilla. It was wonderful! I was able to stay in the motel down the street from the training center and use the scooter to get back and forth to training daily. I was also able to participate in the offsite training exercises (like going into downtown Washington, going to the park, to the duplex, and to the local Walmart) because of the scooter.
I currently live in Troy, Michigan with my spouse and three of my five children. We moved there from Kansas City two years ago. Troy is located approximately twenty miles north of Detroit and is a very metropolitan area. The entire metro-Detroit area is very accessible for persons with disabilities. Old buildings are being renovated and new ones designed with accessibility in mind. The whole area exemplifies our country’s motto of “bring me your huddled masses.” It is filled with people who have emigrated from countries all over the world. It is a unique experience to roll down the street in my scooter during one of the many festivals and meet people from so many cultures.
Because of my limited energy and mobility I do not attend as many activities as I’d like too. I know with the help of my assistance dog and my scooter my energy level will increase and I will be able to get out more. I’m looking forward to going to the Detroit Science Center, The Detroit Institute of Art, The Troy Historical Village, attending an occasional play or concert at the Meadowbrook Open Air Theater, and more.
My new partner, Tortilla, was raised in the Newton Correctional Facility for Men in Newton, Kansas. He is a beautiful Golden Retriever and is trained to balance and brace me as I walk and get up from chairs. He can retrieve items that I drop and bring them to me, open doors, drawers, and even the refrigerator! I wonder if I could teach him to drive the scooter?
I am a Practice Manager for a small family practice medical office in Troy. I work in a very small, multi-level office where my scooter is not practical. Tortilla will help me navigate between the two levels, carry items to other staff members, pick up items I drop, get help if I fall and more. He will make work less fatiguing and stressful. My scooter will make the outside world more accessible for both of us. Thank you, Alternatives in Motion for your priceless gift.