One of my earliest and profound memories from the hospital following my stroke was when I was still in the ICU, dealing with a lot of pain, and not fully aware of what had happened to me and what was next. The nurse came in, tuned my bed toward the window, opened the curtains, and said “you have a lot of friends.” Gathered in the parking lot on a cold, snowy, late November Central Oregon day were close to 100 friends who had come to a barbeque fund raiser for me. With Yvonne’s help I waved and thought “Wow, there are a lot of people pulling for me. This is really a team effort and I need to do my part and work hard.” (I could only “think” this because I couldn’t talk at the time)
There will be 12 (maybe more) on the team that goes to the Grand Canyon with me but the “team” really is much bigger when the 40 or more people who have donated toward the Grand Advenchair are counted. Thank you all for the response so far! It means a lot to know that so many people are behind us! One donor said it so well “None of us gets down the road by our own steam alone. None of us. We all rely on the kindness of strangers and the generosity of friends.”
We’ve exceed our initial goal of $3,000 but will keep the campaign going through the trip to continue to raise money to support the development of the next prototypes of the Advenchair so that others can get off the road, on to the trail, and into the wild. Visit https://www.gofundme.com/2dg5g9g
The team and I are preparing by working out, and testing and improving the chair. Though we obviously can’t reproduce the “Big Ditch”, we do have some awesome trails in Central Oregon to train on. One key team member (who unfortunately can’t make the trip) is a helicopter mechanic with a high level of detail, and always asks “What can go wrong here?” We’ve picked some rougher, more technical trails to test ourselves and the chair for the “What if?” scenario. We’ve refined our terminology and procedures and practiced things like backing down a too-steep trail, climbing stairs and water bars, and picking our line through rocky stretches. We’re basically writing the manual!
Comments from a friend:
You’re f*cking crazy. As always.
So are your friends. What a bad ass plan.
Enjoy the brutal trip. Y'all gonna laugh your asses off and swear at each other. So much fun.
Looking forward to the reports
Thanks again and stay tuned for more updates.