When disability is no slow dance

Andrew and Gesso

Can you imagine watching the person you love lose their ability to be independent?

I know some of you absolutely know what this is like.

After working in the disability sector for a while I know that much is done to show what people with disabilities can do. Slogans such as ‘don’t ‘dis’ my ability’ being a perfect example. People I know who have a disability often inspire me with their resilence, persistence and ingenuity.

Yet, some days there’s no pretty side. It’s just bloody hard.

Regular readers of my blog will know I’ve been dating Andrew for a couple of years now. Over the last couple of years I’ve watched as Andrew’s muscles have further wasted away. Things he could do two years ago, he absolutely can’t today. I remember about 18 months ago, Andrew and I attempted to ‘slow dance’. Looking back on it, how ridiculous were we? A guy who couldn’t walk unaided, cannot lift his feet properly, trying to slow dance. Andrew got himself to vertical. He held on to a table with one arm and to me with the other. We had the music on – candles too – but we didn’t actually move!

While slow dancing is clearly history, I’m not ready to let go of Andrew leaving the house independently just yet.

It’s hard to describe what Andrew goes through to get in and out of the car, so we took a video. Lately, it’s been getting harder and harder. Some days, Andrew just physically does not have the muscle strength to lift the wheelchair into the car. So he stays home. 40 is too young to be confined to the house! 

The hardest thing is there are options out there, he just can’t afford them.

We’ve tried approaching charities for help with vehicle modifications. It’s been tough. I can understand why there are such high frustrations in the community of people living with disability. I got sick of being asked – ‘is it for your son?’

No. It’s my boyfriend.

‘Oh, we only help children.’

Or worse:

‘yes, we can help, but we have a 2 year waiting list.’

So, we are trying to raise the money ourselves. I’ve never attempted to raise money for anything before. While I have always worked for charities which rely on donations to keep going, I’ve never been the one calling charities asking for help.

We first looked at the Abiloader, which was going to cost at least $15,000. Now we have found a plan B, which is $8,500.

Please, watch the video and if you are moved by it, please help by making a donation and/or sharing it among your friends.

Thank you.

Link to video or view below.

You can read more of Andrew’s story on his blog.

Donations of support can be made via:

St.George Bank of Australia
Fund raising account number: 485 558 044
Branch/bsb number: 112-879
Account name: Geoffrey Andrew Grant
Andrew’s email address if thenihilistfish@gmail.com if you want to contact him or just ask him anything. If you subscribe to his blog (or if you’re already on mine!) we will keep you updated.
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Posted on July 26, 2012, in Disability, Life and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. The Former Statue of Fred Astaire

    Didn’t move? what do you mean we didn’t move! I am sure we moved…
    Did we just stand there swaying ” Like a tree in the wind” ? Maybe all my dancing was done in my head 🙂

  2. Thanks for keeping us updated. Tough place to be in! Went through this when I had to car for my mom. Thoughts & prays.

  3. This is so sad, I take it there isn’t a Motability scheme in Australia then? Andrew’s courage and strength is amazing.

  4. No we don’t have a motability scheme. I wish! There is a government scheme which helps fund some equipment however vehicle modifications are not included. Every charity I ring just tells me how hard it is to find funding for it!

  5. Blimey, I have just watched this. Andrew has never struck me as a patient person from your posts, but his determination and persistence shames me. How does one make international donations? Maybe I should be asking my bank.

    • Be not shamed Isobel. You’re quite right. Andrew and patience don’t usually go in the same sentence. Andrew and stubborn are a more common combination! I’ll have to ask Andrew about the international donation as I think he received one from overseas.

      We’re still fundraising which culminates (we hope!) in a dinner on Tuesday 11th September and a garage sale on Saturday 15th. We’re hoping with what we’ve raised to date, those activities and hopefully some help from a charity if it doesn’t fall through, we’ll have what we need to order the equipment. Fingers crossed!

  1. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful « the scroobious pip

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