We love to hear the stories of perseverance, joy, and hope that abound in the LifeGlider community. Their life lessons are a constant inspiration.
And that’s not only true for those of us with mobility impairments. We can all relate to stories about feeling hopeless before discovering a path we didn’t expect.
Fearing for a child or an aging parent, then discovering our loved one is stronger than we knew. Feeling desperate to participate more fully in life, to fulfill our dreams, and then realizing the means to do it is suddenly within reach.
The stories we’ve shared on our website are about people who have dared to hope. Who have reached further, done more, than they thought possible.
They happen to be LifeGlider owners, but it isn’t the device that has made these stories possible. These are people who found the power within themselves to believe. And that’s what makes their stories so powerful.
Here are just a few lessons we’ve learned chatting with members of this community of dreamers, believers, and people determined to live the fullest life possible.
Life Lesson #1. “Good enough” isn’t always good enough. (Casey)
Refusing to believe he would need a wheelchair for the rest of his life, Casey fought his way back to his feet with the help of a walker.
An experienced equestrian, Casey had no idea that after mounting his horse one September morning in 2011 that he would suffer an accident that would leave him paralyzed from the chest down.
He eventually discovered the LifeGlider allowed him to walk and carry things at the same time. When the opportunity came to regain more of the freedom he’d lost, Casey was ready.
“My life changed forever with that accident in the Sierras … What didn’t change is my will to push the boundaries because ‘good enough’ isn’t good enough.”
Life Lesson #2: Don’t assume your dancing days are over. (Alex)
As his multiple sclerosis progressed over the course of three decades, Alex became an avid student of the disease. He conducted independent research. He worked with neurologists, physical therapists, orthopedists and medical diagnostic technicians, and exercised often.
But even Alex never thought he would be able to do something like dance. Anyone else might still have doubted it when first looking at the LifeGlider, but Alex saw the potential right away.
“The best thing I ever did, was finding and then marrying my wife of 39 years: Mary Ann. She is amazing. I thought my dancing days with her were over – but thanks to the LifeGlider, they’re not.”
Life Lesson #3: Walking confidently may give you the urge to give back. (Josie)
Like many people with secondary progressive MS, Josie realized she would need a walker when she developed “drop foot,” a common condition that was tripping her up and causing falls.
But she hated the idea of using a device that she would have to hunch over, hold onto and lean on. It made her feel much older than she was. She didn’t want to engage in social life.
Once she realized how different it would feel to be able to walk upright with the LifeGlider and only hold on when she wanted to, Josie became much more confident and inspired.
“I highly recommend this device to all out there who know that loss of mobility equals loss of independence. I love mine so much that I asked to volunteer to run a LifeGlider Users Group on Facebook.”
Life Lesson #4: Take heart if you feel “broken.” You may not always. (Pam)
Pam suffered a stroke after a rare type of brain hemorrhage. She was lucky to survive. Afterward, she was able to walk, but not reliably. It was like her legs wouldn’t always cooperate.
The risk of falling was too great, making Pam dependent on a wheelchair at first. Determined to walk, Pam learned to use walkers and rollators, but the fall risk was still there. She felt self-conscious about her disability.
She didn’t realize just how different she looked and felt in the LifeGlider until she was walking through the park with a friend one day, who told her he’d never seen her “unbroken.”
“I knew what he meant because I understand disability … It can start to make you feel like you’re always behind the eight-ball. Broken. Now, I’m more unbroken than I’ve been in a decade, thanks to my LifeGlider!”
Life Lesson #5: Hold onto hope for your kids. You never know what might be possible. (Meghan)
Meghan’s daughter, Bre, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at a young age. As a result, it was very difficult for Bre to walk with confidence. She used a wheelchair for safety.
But Meghan never gave up on the idea that her daughter would walk one day. Her belief was infectious; Bre came to share it. By the time Meghan discovered the LifeGlider, they were both ready to get the most out of the fall-safe mobility aid.
They got more than they expected. Not only could Bre actually run in the LifeGlider, the device worked like a physical trainer, help her become more steady on her feet even when she wasn’t using it. Meghan discovered one summer day just how much it had done for her daughter.
“The next thing we knew, she was walking all through the house. I was in tears … 44 steps! I know it’s because the LifeGlider enables her to do all sorts of activities that are making her stronger every day.”
Life Lesson #6: There is joy in helping yourself so you can help others. (Emily and Camarie)
We’ve heard from two occupational therapists who have experienced the LifeGlider themselves and are enthusiastic about using it to help others.
In Emily’s case, she used the LifeGlider in the course of her own rehabilitation following surgery on her spinal cord. In time, she grew far stronger than she had thought possible before.
“Soon I surpassed my prior level of functioning – completing a 5K walk and often seeing my non-disabled friends and family members tiring out before I did … The LifeGlider has helped me in my journey, and I know it can help other people with theirs.”
Camarie is in a master’s degree program in OT at the University of Pittsburgh. She looks forward to using the LifeGlider as a tool in working with clients as a licensed therapist.
“I know in the future it will be a powerful tool to help my patients do the life activities that mean so much to them. Occupational therapy is all about helping people do what they love, so OT and the LifeGlider are a great fit.”
Life Lesson #7: Sometimes caring for yourself and caring for others is the same thing. (Gianna)
When Gianna would fall, due a neurological disorder that makes her legs weak and gait unsteady, it didn’t always hurt too much. But it was scary for her six-year-old daughter.
So naturally, the first thing Gianna did when she got her LifeGlider was to give her daughter a wonderful surprise: she came home from a playdate to find Gianna standing up, safely and hands-free.
“It’s wonderful to wake up in the morning and stand on your own legs without fear of falling. I’m so grateful the LifeGlider exists and that I could get it. So is my daughter, because she doesn’t have to be afraid anymore either.”
Care for Yourself and Your Loved Ones with the LifeGlider
There are so many more stories like these, and we’ve got more to recap in Part 2!
In every case, these aren’t stories about the LifeGlider. These are stories about the extraordinary people who use the LifeGlider to meet their goals, fulfill their vision, help themselves and serve others.
What’s your story?
- Do you have a LifeGlider and want to tell us about your experience?
- Or, do you think the LifeGlider might be part of your story’s next chapter?
Either way, reach out and let us know. We look forward to hearing your story and exploring its next chapter together!