Announcing: 2015 Upshift Summer Bash

We are at it again! Cars, food trucks, craft/ home business vendors, and a huge playground for the kids means the second annual Upshift Summer Bash is a recipe for fun for the entire family!
Join us Saturday August 1St 3-9pm at Leg Up Farm in Mt. Wolf!

Upshift 2015 printable flyer

Register your vehicle online (use code USB2015 at check out for $5.00 discount):
Online registration via Square CLICK HERE

Upshift Printable Car Registration

Facebook Upshift 2015 Invite
We can’t wait to have you join us!

Ps: If you are interested in being a vendor contact us at driveforindependence@gmail.com

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Another Hurdle Overcome

The last week and a half we were in Johnstown. It was quite a different experience to be kid free for that long since the boys were born. We also had to adjust to a different schedule for that time but we managed. Getting up at 6 in the morning instead of heading to bead at that time was a little tough but we managed.

Chris went out driving about 4-5 hours everyday for the most part. He drove some crazy roads most of the time that were snow covered. He was learning to drive on very sensitive equipment so this is a pretty good indicator he can definitely handle the equipment he needs! Let alone it wasn’t set up specifically for him. He had to make do with what was available. Here’s a map to give a idea of what Chris was tackling everyday.

The full joystick was a little too finicky for him so they decided on gas/brake lever and steering on the joystick. The T handle on the gas/brake set-up wasn’t working well for him so Chris suggested a vertical handle instead. EMC doesn’t make a vertical handle surprisingly so they had to rig a makeshift stalk for him to use. The joystick was the same thing and has a pretty tiny ball and he had a little issue with that as well so they made another makeshift stalk for it. Once they got everything set up for him he did very well.IMG_0046

Tuesday Feb 17th he took his driver’s test to get the additional driving equipment added to his license. He had his license there are just additional requirements for driving via joystick. He is now able to get his truck equipped with EMC joystick steering!

We are now waiting for the prescription to go to OVR. Once they have the prescription we will get the go ahead to buy his truck. After we get the truck we will have to choose 3 companies to bid on the work. Once the bid process is over the truck will be dropped of with the bid winning installer. It will first head to Indiana for Mobility SVM to do the floor and lift conversion. It will then most likely head to EMC for wiring up in Maine. Finally it will then come back to the company who won the bid (we’re hoping we can get Ride-Away in Norristown) to finish the installing of EMC equipment, EZ-Lock, and all the finishing touches and we’ll take final delivery.

At final delivery Chris will have up to 5 days of additional training on his new truck with the rehabilitation specialist to make sure the truck is set up and working well for him. We still have a bit more of this process to get through but we are headed in the right direction! We’ve been warned it could be a year until we take final delivery. It shouldn’t take that long but we are preparing for the worst and hoping for the very best that it is only at most 6 months!

It’s Official! Chris’s Drive For Independence Has Reached its Goal!

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Thank you to everyone who made our very first car show a success! We may not have reached our goal but we are less than $1,000.00 away from our goal! We are still proceeding forward with getting Chris’s truck. It will still be a couple months until we are given the go ahead to get the truck by OVR so there is still an opportunity to get there.

Thank you to the food trucks and vendors who gave their support in our first year. You took a gamble on us! We can’t say thank you enough for being there to support us! Thank you to the vendors who came out to share the day with us. Thank you to all the car guys, including some of the Visual Reality Car Club, and three special Johns (John O., John Sheldon, and John Burch) that came out to support! Chris This event was about bringing the community out to help one of its own reach his dream!

The Upshift Summer Bash raised $1,209.00 leaving us just $800.00 shy of our goal. We thought we were proceeding forward without reaching it. That all changed this morning at 9:30am! I was expecting email from Ride-Away who was part of our event. Imagine my (Heather’s) surprise when I looked in my email and there was a donation the completed our goal and exceeded it! I just about hit the floor I was so shocked! Chris was sleeping and I woke him up with my hysterics! At least it was a great reason, right?

Thank you again to everyone who has helped us reach our goal! It was so much a community effort! It now puts us very close to Chris’s Dream of Driving. OVR paperwork is in the works and hopefully as long as all goes to plan we will have his truck in 4-6 months! Sooner is better than later but after a 10 year wait this will be nothing! What a way to celebrate Chris and I being together for 10 years! What an awesome gift and one we will never forget!!!

Waiting Game

We’ve hit a little set back right now with Chris’s chair that is pushing our timeline for the truck back maybe a little bit. He was hoping to get in touch with OVR at the beginning of the year but over the holidays his new chair (less than 6 months old) had a major electrical breakdown. It has already been 4 weeks and we are still waiting for insurance approval to have it fixed.

The chair went down after a little bit of water got into one of the chair mechanisms, specifically they believe it was the tilt and it fried the electronics. It has gotten wet before and just caused temporary errors. This time it didn’t come back. We went to a family Christmas party and it was lightly misting. It was covered even the part that got damaged. I’m still not sure how the rain got in but that is one of the problems with the current carrier system we are using with our current vehicle. The chair is out in the elements and even with a cover we can’t be sure it is completely protected.

Chris was then using his old power chair to get around the house and we were using his manual chair for work and outings again but now even his backup power chair broke down (it was on it’s last leg too and they will not fix an old chair. That one has an electrical issue as well.) We’ve become temporarily limited again for our everyday activities because of not having his power chair. Trying to get out while having to push Chris and keeping two 4 year olds safe is very challenging. Both of our boys have developmental delays that cause impulsive behavior and they don’t think about straying from us no matter how many times we correct them and explain the how’s and why’s they need to stay with us. We’re working on it but it is so much more challenging when I’m needed to push Chris and keep both of them with us. When Chris has his power chair he can help to chase down one of them if need be.

He is also temporarily off work due to having to use his manual chair constantly right now. He’s in a considerable amount of pain in his left hip because he cannot move himself as effectively to get comfortable. He doesn’t have the ability to change the angle he’s sitting in with the push of a button. Think about if you had to sit in the same position for 8 hours plus being essentially unable to change it. You wouldn’t be very comfortable so he is home right now so that I can help change his position and move him from his chair to bed as needed.

The other set backs with him not having his chair means he can’t call OVR and get the hand control evaluation he needs. He needs the evaluation to determine the best hand controls for him which means he needs his chair so they can properly determine the equipment that will work for him and with his chair. Getting the driving evaluation will be the first step in getting the truck and it can’t be done without his chair. He doesn’t want to get set up and then not have his chair to be evaluated.

Right now we’re enjoying a bit of unplanned extra family time but it’s not the way we would have planned a “vacation” that’s for sure. After getting everything squared away with his chair we’ll be getting in touch with OVR. At that point we will most likely will have our vehicle paid off (March 9th is the payoff date) and be putting all of our energy into making Chris’s dream of driving a reality! Stay tuned for upcoming events…