This is a Column I (Heather) wrote in response to a letter to the editor of YDR to Helping A Man Named Matthew
Help a man named Chris (column)
I am writing in response to a letter Jeannie Richcreek had written and was published on Aug. 4 called “Helping a man named Matthew.” Her kind words were just what we needed to hear that day, and I want to extend my thanks to her. She took the time and effort to write to the newspaper on our behalf, and after the rough day we had had with the weather during the car wash, her words were comforting.
I would, however, like to take a moment to clear up some confusion on the name and to share our story and our goals.
My husband’s name is Chris Sauerbaum. He was born with a neuromuscular disease known as chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy that landed him in a wheelchair full-time at the age of 12. He hasn’t let that stop him, though. He finished his associates degree in graphic design and has been employed as a graphic artist at Clipper Magazine for
10 years now.
The biggest challenge our family faces right now is Chris’s transportation to and from work. His main form of transportation is me. For the past nine years, it has mainly been me doing hour-long commutes for him to get back and forth to work. We just recently have been able to start using a car carrier, and he’s taking the bus in the mornings now, but it takes him nearly 2.5 hours to get home from work in the morning. This really is not the best way for our family, especially with the appointments and care our twin 4-year-olds Harley and Tucker need. They both have delays and sensory issues we are working through since their premature birth four years ago that make life very interesting.
It makes the morning much easier with them staying home, but not being able to go out because of unpredictable bus circumstances is still not a great way for our family to use its time. We do what we have to do right now, but that is why we are working toward his truck.
The car wash that Ms. Richcreek mentioned was just one of the many fundraisers we have done and are currently working on. We are working on raising a $10,000 down payment for a wheelchair-accessible truck. We are looking at getting a Mobility SVM converted Chevrolet Silverado 4×4 with EMC hand controls so that he has the ability to get himself back and forth to work. The state paid for Chris to have driver’s training 10 years ago but then turned around and denied converting the vehicle he was able to afford for him to drive. His dream is simple — to drive. Our $10,000 down payment goal for the truck is the tough part right now.
Would you like to help us reach our goal? Here is how you can help. Check out our fundraising website at http://www.gofundme.com/driveforindependence to donate.
Check out our blog for upcoming fundraisers: www.
We are currently working on a cookbook and are looking for recipes to be submitted by Sept. 21. Submit three recipes and be entered to win your own copy. See the blog post “Gardening With A Purpose Cookbook” for more details.
We are also putting together a vendor show, The Drive For Independence Holiday Bazaar, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Nov. 10 at Hellam Fire Hall, 163 E. Market St., Hallam. Check the blog for updates.
We also keep everyone up to date on Facebook, so come on over and give us a like: http://www.facebook.com/driveforindependence. Any new blog post we do automatically posts to the Facebook page, making it easy to keep current.
If you are interested in contacting us via email,
the address is drivefor
firstname.lastname@example.org. I am more than happy to give out more information such as address and phone number through personal email.
Again, thank you, Jeannie, for writing your letter and sharing our car wash story. I hope my letter helps to clear up any confusion and allows our story to get out there.
Heather Sloat is the wife of Chris Sauerbaum.