Thursday, November 6, 2003
Sauk Valley Newspapers
Carole Ann Pysher learned the hard way how difficult it can be to be mobile in a wheelchair. She hopes the lessons she learned the hard way will help others.
"I was living in Arizona when I was diagnosed with (Multiple Sclerosis) in 1991," said Pysher. "Fortunately, I was living in Arizona where there are a lot of retired people who have mobility problems so I was able to find what I need."
She now wants to help people in northern Illinois who have difficulty getting around. Pysher works for Sawicki Motor Co. in Rochelle. She was able to convince the owner, Dan Sawicki, that a Mobility Expo would benefit others who need help finding a way to get around. The expo is Nov. 15 at Sawicki Motor.
"We will have mobility equipment dealers from northern Illinois on hand to discuss equipment and services that are available to the physically challenged community," said Pysher. "The goal is to help everyone to be as mobile as they can be."
Pysher moved from Arizona to Rockford so she could be around during the week for her mother who is in a nursing home. She works at Sawicki as special transportation coordinator.
"GM, Ford and Chrysler all make vehicles for those who need special equipment," said Pysher.
The adapted vehicles can include lifts that allow people in wheelchairs to get behind the wheel while still sitting in the wheelchair. Other changes can make it possible for someone to drive, accelerate and brake with hand controls.
"More people in Arizona know what is available for them," said Pysher. "When I moved back up here, I found nothing, so I decided to make it a goal to get the information out."
Even though Sawicki is the first dealership in the Sauk Valley to have a mobility expo, the idea could expand to others who might want to let potential customers know they can meet special needs. According to Pysher, the baby boomers are starting to reach the age where they will need specially adapted vehicles.
"I want people to know that transportation is available," said Pysher. "The key is to get the message out about what can be found."
Mobility Connection, an agency in Rockford that helps people who have
a disability to get transportation, will be at the expo.
Copyright © 2003, Sauk Valley Newspapers