Each year, May is National Mobility Awareness Month and is the annual celebration that encourages seniors, veterans, caregivers and people with disabilities to enjoy active, mobile lifestyles. The Local Heroes Contest is a rewarding part of what we do at NMEDA, we thank our members, contest sponsors and the hundreds of communities and thousands of individuals who rallied this year to make this special once again. We also wanted to thank the millions who took the time to read and learn about all of the Local Heroes in the contest and then cast their votes.
Learn more about the many automotive mobility solutions available and read our winners’ amazing stories below.
My Mom Lori has Muscular Dystrophy. She’s had an uphill climb in life but met the challenges head on with faith and a positive attitude. My parents were married in 1983.
Doctors told them they would never have kids.Don’t say the word ‘NEVER’ to them; it will be used as determination to ‘OVERCOME’. I am one of three children.
Mom’s disability regressed from limping to being confined to a wheelchair. There were many trips to the hospital with extensive medical expenses. My Dad (Dave) worked hard to provide as a UPS driver. We never had anything fancy, but the Lord always provided.In 2004, Mom had a sudden attack, all her small motor capabilities were gone and her independence taken away, just like that! Diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis (MG) was like getting struck by lightning twice, she was one of few to have both of these horrible diseases.
My Dad became Moms full time, remarkable, loving caregiver. Helping her get ready morning and evenings, on his lunch hour he came home to feed her, and help her to the bathroom.
In 2012 Dad became ill and was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and forced into early retirement with a lower pension plan. MS came with challenges, medical expenses, and major health risks.
In 2014 a miracle occurred, Mom’s MG went away. She is still confined to a wheelchair needing much assistance with Muscular Dystrophy.
With both parents being stricken with hardships, they know how difficult it is having health issues and how much of a financial burden it is. They created a 100% volunteer non-profit, “Lori’s Voice” to help others. They fundraise for special needs children under 18 and assist families with medical expenses that insurance doesn’t cover.
My parents own an older lift van; it’s just a matter of time before it falls apart! The vans undercarriage is completely rusting out and the mechanics on the lift don’t work! The van is as important to them as walking is to most. In a literal sense, it is a vehicle to help others with, as they use it a majority of time for Lori’s Voice (LV). They use it for going to LV events, hauling LV supplies, and for personal use. They don’t have the financial means to purchase a better lift van; it would be beneficial for them to win this nomination! Please see news link about them: http://www.usatoday.com/videos/news/humankind/2016/03/30/82432838/
John Rose is my husband. He is Mr. Rose to thousands of students who love him. John is a man who loves God, life, music, and teaching music! He taught high school chorus for 39 years when he was forced to retire because of the cruelty of ALS.
John insisted on continuing to teach even when he could no longer raise his arms to conduct. He could barely speak, but those kids respected him so much that they learned to read his eyes and lips and won Superior ratings in all chorus competitions that year, and the judges were brought to tears as they watched the communication between director and singers.
Hundreds of students keep in touch with him through social media as he uses his eye gaze computer to communicate with them. They continue to speak of the life lessons he has taught them and say how much they love him. It is something to behold. John is the Founder of a non-profit organization called “Where Every Child is a Star”. He funded the camp programs and performances on his own until he could find funding. Hundreds of children of all ages passed through those summer camps learning every aspect of the arts. No child was turned away. If the family could not afford it, John found a way. This is a man who never gives up. He loves purely. Even though he cannot speak, use his limbs, hold up his head without a brace, uses a vent for breathing, and is fed by feeding tube….he NEVER complains. Never.
I want John to be able to go to concerts. To visit places his students are performing. To get out there and be around people. He brings such joy. A wheelchair van would change his life. We just had to sell our home in Miami to move to Kentucky because I need a kidney transplant. Of all things! We are near my children now and getting health care in a familiar place for me. John lived all his life in Florida. Even with this, he never complained. Please consider my husband for this award. He is so deserving.
Thank you sincerely,