National Mobility Awareness Month Partners:
VMI

Linda Bates

Downey, CA

Entry Photo for Linda Bates - Downey, CA

My name is Linda and I was diagnosed with Adult Onset Spinal Muscular Atrophy 12 years ago at age 50. This disease causes progressive weakness but I will not let it slow me down.

My passion is dogs. When I was diagnosed, my first thoughts were of how this would effect my dog training and wow I can get a service dog! I have been training dogs for 20 years, putting advanced obedience titles on 2 pit bulls and now down sized to a small terrier mix.

I love sharing my dog’s love with others and currently do therapy visits with my French bulldog, Zag. We visit at a center for adults with developmental disabilities with BARK Therapy Dogs. Zag is my fourth therapy dog. I am also the evaluator for BARK, testing dogs to see if they have what it takes to be a therapy dog.

My husband and I foster greyhound right off the racetrack, getting them used to living in a house before going to their forever home.

I went from using a cane to forearm crutches and although I have a motorized wheelchair, I have no way to transport it. I get tired easily and it would make life much easier to have my chair to get around. Nothing could stop me then.