We recently shared some life lessons from LifeGlider owners. There were so many, we couldn’t fit them all into one article!
Here are seven more stories of perseverance, joy and hope that abound in our community. Their life lessons are a constant inspiration.
Life Lesson #8: All it takes is one vision to give you all the motivation you need. (Sarah)
Most of the time, standing and walking were too painful for Sarah’s dad, Greg, to bother trying. He was content to rely on a wheelchair to get around.
But there was one place where Greg was determined he was going to walk – down the aisle at his daughter’s wedding. That was enough to get him on his feet and into the LifeGlider to train until he was ready for the big day when it finally came.
“Dad died seven months after that. In the 18-month period he was sick, that day was the most energetic I saw him. He had resisted trying to walk until he had a reason. It wasn’t easy, but the fact that there wasn’t a worry of falling gave him the confidence to try.”
Life Lesson #9: There is more to discover about your abilities than your disabilities. (McKenna)
McKenna has had cerebral palsy all her life. Her disability has always made it challenging to get ready every morning, exercise and walk without falling.
CP slows her down, of course. But McKenna has never let it stop her completely. Her determination got her through high school and into a full-time job. She and her twin sister started a disability advocacy organization called Mirror Image.
Since getting her LifeGlider, the device hasn’t changed a thing about McKenna’s determination to chase her dreams. It has only enhanced the confidence that was already there.
“Thanks to the LifeGlider, a lot more is possible for me than ever before … I’m coming out of my shell more. I want to do public speaking. I’d like to see Mirror Image grow into a not-for-profit. I’m thinking about writing a book about my life.”
Life Lesson #10: Not even a death sentence is reason enough to lose hope. (Lana)
At 21, Lana was diagnosed with a stage 4 brain tumor that was supposed to take her life. But three operations later, the tumor was gone. She had survived.
In the decade that followed, Lana worked to prove another assumption wrong – that her ataxia, a neurological disorder causing imbalance, meant that she had no other option for independent mobility than to use a wheelchair for the rest of her life.
She worked out hard to strengthen her body and got a little practice walking with assistance, but she still depended on her wheelchair. Then she discovered the LifeGlider. Today, Lana’s proving that a full-time wheelchair user who once got a death sentence can live and walk independently.
“I like showing off the LifeGlider. I’m already a miracle to my doctors, who didn’t expect me to live nearly this long. At my next MRI appointment in January, I plan to go in with the LifeGlider. They will be shocked to see me walking!”
Life Lesson #11: A little independence goes a long way. (Greta)
Greta’s mom, Lina, has Alzheimer’s disease. Apart from the difficulty of managing Lina’s mental health, caring for her after a fall-related injury became a physical challenge too difficult for Greta to bear alone.
Getting her up on her feet on a regular basis was essential to Lina’s recovery. Greta was desperate for Lina to have a little more independence, just enough so Greta wouldn’t need her boyfriend to be there to help keep Lina steady.
Thanks to the LifeGlider, Greta can get Lina on her feet for about an hour each day. Lina is now getting the benefits of bearing some of her own weight without the risk of falling.
“If you’ve ever had to care for someone who is bedridden, as my mom was after her fall, you know how hard it is to lift them, turn them to prevent bedsores, and transfer them to and from the bathroom. To see her upright again with a little independence is incredible.”
Life Lesson #12: Getting your life back looks different for everyone. (Gail)
Gail had been around the world with the Air Force, studied many different subjects and held many different jobs. She’d been strong, confident and independent.
A car wreck seemed to end that phase of life for Gail. It caused severe back pain that kept her off her feet, requiring her to use a power chair to get around.
Since discovering the LifeGlider, Gail has been steadily getting her life back in ways that are meaningful to her. She’s considering volunteering with the Scottish Games again, where she might help set up, stand and talk to attendees or play her guitar as she did before her accident.
“I know the biggest fear a lot of people with back and leg problems have – and a lot of them are veterans – is falling … I think when you don’t have to worry about that, and when you get your confidence back, you can heal faster. You can get something like a functional life back.”
Life Lesson #13: Don’t underestimate the power of doing one simple thing you love. (Marybeth)
Marybeth grew up on a pond in Massachusetts. Today, she lives on a different pond in a different part of the state and still loves living on the water.
The difference today is that the autoimmune disease she developed a decade ago prevents her from enjoying it the same way. Without assistance, it’s no longer safe for her to go out on the ice in the wintertime.
The LifeGlider has enabled her to do many things, but one of the most powerful is the simple joy of going out on the ice, talking with the ice anglers, and gliding across the surface.
“Just the experience of moving across the ice in a standing position is more satisfying. That’s all I did at first, was walk. But then I got the idea to use ski poles. My next time out I discovered I could push myself with the poles and glide over the ice, similar to cross-country skiing!”
Life Lesson #14: Don’t ever let anybody tell you what you can’t do. (Thomas)
Thomas was depressed. The last time he had taken a step was when he was 10 years old. He was now in his late ‘30s, using a wheelchair full time for mobility, and feeling like he could stand to lose some weight.
So, Thomas joined a gym. With the help of a personal trainer, he discovered he had not completely lost the ability to stand. He then began the long road to regaining the ability to walk, eventually taking his first steps in 27 years.
But there was one thing Thomas still wanted: to be able to walk hands-free so he could walk up to his mom and give her a hug. Thanks to the LifeGlider, that’s just what he did.
“If somebody who was in a wheelchair from the age of 10 to 37 can just stand up and start using the LifeGlider, anybody can do it. I didn’t have any balance, and I still don’t. But thanks to the LifeGlider, I can just strap in and go every day. Maybe it could work for you, too.”
Maybe the LifeGlider Could Work for You, Too
There are so many more stories like these.
We’ve heard from Nancy, who uses her LifeGlider for gardening; from Mike, whose MS slowed him down, but whose wife complains he now “walks too fast” with the LifeGlider; from Shayn, who uses theirs to stand up and play VR video games.
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!