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Suz Welch is unable to walk and relies on her wheelchair 24/7 for mobility. As a result of severe arthritis and then a sudden fall in 2013, Suz’s spinal cord is now crushed. She has undergone several spinal cord surgeries, and a spinal fusion in an attempt to correct her paralysis. By 2014, Suz was diagnosed with a crushed spinal cord which left her paralyzed from the waist down. Despite her injuries, Suz continues to undergo therapies and rehabilitation in an attempt to regain some mobility. She refuses to give up and more than ever wants to gain some level of independence, and continue to try and improve and overcome her condition.

Suz’s out of pocket medical expenses related to her condition are mounting. Copays and deductibles, medical equipment, doctor’s appointments, travel fees, health insurance premiums, and caregiver fees, continue to rise. Suz also needs extensive rehabilitation which is not always covered by her health insurance. Part of her rehabilitation has included using an exercise bike known as the FES RT300 rehabilitation system. This type of cycling allows Suz to maintain an ongoing level of moderate activity, helps improve her circulation, and even stimulates her leg muscles to contract more strongly during exercises. Since using the bike, Suz feels her condition has improved in preventing muscle atrophy, calming muscle spasms, and improving circulation. Suz has been using the FES RT300 machine at Younkers Rehab, and would like to continue the therapy in the convenience of her home.

Updates (7)

April 5, 2017

RAISED: $5,105.

GOAL: $20,000

April update! Here are some of the reasons I am hoping to fundraise for an off-road vehicle:

1. Due to needing home care nursing because I am paraplegic, I had to give up my driver’s license. So I have lost my ability to go places independently. This off-road vehicle will change that for me.

2. I live in rural Iowa which continues to have a number of gravel roads that are difficult to access.

3. Our mailbox is down a rock road. I go every day to get the mail. I could use an off-road vehicle to get the mail safely and easily. Currently I use my power wheelchair to get the mail when weather permits.

4. I use my power wheelchair to travel down a gravel road to get to the upper land. The road has a lot of potholes in it. When it rains I cannot use the road with my power wheelchair. I could use an off-road vehicle to go down the road to take nature photographs, one of my biggest hobbies and passions.

5. I cannot get to the Ledges State Park or to Camp Hantesa. With an off-road vehicle I could get to both of those places which are near and dear to me and are part of my community.

6. A friend lives about 4 miles away on a gravel road. I would like to visit but cannot do so unless my caregiver can take me. With an off-road vehicle I could visit him safely to stay connected.

7. I have been stuck 5 or 6 times in my power wheelchair due to mud. Each time I have had to call someone to come and help me. I usually get stuck so bad it either takes several people or have a four wheeler come and hook onto my chair and pull me out. With an off-road vehicle I would be saving time and effort and protecting my power wheelchair from damage.

8. My caregiver is concerned about damage to my power wheelchair that could lead to injury. She thinks I would be safer with an off road vehicle.

9. During the winter I go out almost every day and last winter I missed two days because of the cold, ice, and snow being so severe. With an off-road vehicle I could go spend time in the beautiful outdoors every day, an activity that enhances my life, no matter the weather.

10. There is a group of handicapped people who use off-road vehicles to go on different trails in Iowa and surrounding states. I would like to join the group. It would be an outlet for me and I would be joining others who have the same problems that I have.

A friend of mine has an off-road vehicle that has adaptive equipment that allows you to use a hand accelerator with a brake. When I visited him I was able to get into his off-road vehicle and took two rides with me using the accelerator and brake. I had a passenger with me who gave me instructions. Check out the new profile picture!

My friend provides the adaptive equipment. He is a dealer for it and would be willing to put the adaptive equipment on my vehicle at wholesale price. He would get the off-road vehicle from the dealer and take it to his place to put on the adaptive equipment. He would then return the vehicle to me.

For safety, the vehicle comes with roll bars, a helmet, and a 4-point seat belt restraint.

The vehicle is a Polaris RZR 900 50”. The adaptive equipment I would need from the dealer includes a rear view mirror and a folding side mirror. The other adaptive equipment for the accelerator and brake would cost $500.

The dealer for the Polaris RZR 900 50” is in a neighboring community so if I needed services for the machine I would be close.

The cost for the machine would be $15,000 to $19,000 and the adaptive equipment would be an additional $500. Right now I have a trailer which I used for a Honda Chuck Wagon. It is the off-road machine I used before becoming a paraplegic, so I have experience with an off-road vehicle.

March 19, 2017

Suz is now working on raising funds for an off road vehicle (Polaris RZR). Suz had to give up her driver's license because of restrictions of Medicare. As a result she has only her wheel chair to use. The off road vehicle would allow her some freedom to go on more roads around her home. The roads around the house are not in good condition. See pictures on the Photo Album.

Thank you for your donation. The cost of the off road vehicle is $20,000. $5,105 is where we are today. This is March 20th.

Photo Galleries (3)

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December 24, 2016

Suz, I doubt that you remember me, but I am Marilyn (Alt) Scholl's younger sister, and a long time (and long ago) Hantesa camper, too. I now divide my time between Colorado and Arizona. I think you know that Marilyn died in February, after a long battle with COPD. In recent years, when her ability to get out was limited, I know your on line friendship met a great deal to her. So this donation is in memory of Marilyn and in honor of you.

Sara (Sally) Alt

November 30, 2015

Good luck on getting your bike. I know this will help you!

DD Gass