Our oldest daughter is severely disabled. My wife, my younger daughter and I cared for Megan 24/7 for over twenty years. Two years ago, Megan moved to a nearby facility that appears better able to meet her needs. That decision was emotionally involved enough to require some family counseling. The lady we spoke to convinced us to give it a try by explaining that in letting Megan move, all our lives would have a chance to grow bigger.
A few weeks after Megan's room emptied out; I was out walking, looking for my bigger life. Making my way around the neighborhood, I stumbled across the combination of a bicycle attached to the back of a wheelchair rolling out the front entrance of the local nursing home. The bike's unique design, along the complete delight on the faces of the rider and driver stopped me dead in my tracks. As I stood stunned on the sidewalk, I immediately understood what that wheelchair bicycle would have added to our days with Megan at home. And in that same moment, I think I felt my future unfold.
I bought my own wheelchair bike the very next day. I started a business around the bike with the idea that it could change the whole caregiving experience. Families, just like ours, could now get outside for fresh air, exercise and a chance to be more involved in neighborhood and community activities. People in nursing homes and similar settings; be they residents or employees would now have a tool that could make every day a little better, a little brighter. I invested all my money and all my energy into bringing this bike to the folks that needed it the most. I hit it as hard as I could. But nothing happened.
Eventually it became clear that the business wasn't going to work. Through all that pain, I never doubted that the wheelchair bicycle belonged. I just needed to find the right bike. My brother very generously helped put the pieces together to develop my own wheelchair bicycle. I have been truly blessed with the opportunity to take that initial moment of heaven-sent inspiration and transform it into my own design. I call it CAREBIKE.
Our team has developed a concept that will permit a wider variety of people with mobility limitations, as well as the folks that care for them, the chance to enjoy the simple pleasures of a bike ride. Right here in Central Florida, we are now producing a product that can deliver that benefit safer, easier, and less-expensively than any other manufacturer, anywhere.
I'm extremely proud of what we've accomplished. All the work has its true reward in hearing a 100-year-old woman ending her CAREBIKE ride, giggling. Or seeing a non-verbal, intellectually-disabled man rolling down the trail with a smile on is face. Moments like these make it all worthwhile.
My job now is to make the world aware of CAREBIKE. Our website provides pictures, video and the details around the bike and our mission: Doing all we can to get our bike to the folks that need it the most.
Submitted by Anonymous
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