Why This Campaign?
Hey everyone! My name is Lauren Beller, and I live in Philadelphia. I went to Temple (GO OWLS!), and I have a degree in Elementary and Special Education. I am an activist, advocate, musician, movie-lover, and an overall good person. I also happen to use a power wheelchair, and my current one is about to die. My wheelchair is cool, but it costs a lot of money initially and also to maintain, but it also allows me to live my life mostly independently. I have a lot to offer this world despite my disability, and my wheelchair is the main tool that allows me to be a part of society.
My current wheelchair is on its way out, which means that I am at risk of getting stranded in my home, or worse, it could stop working when I'm out in public. My chair has several seating components that let me change the position I am sitting in, which decreases my chronic pain, but the motors for these systems are just about shot. Long story short, I need a new chair. The process has already begun, and my insurance company has covered the chair, but only about a third of the cost. In order to get the chair, I owe $17,823.83 out of pocket. This cost covers the portion of the chair that the insurance covered, but also the parts that were denied coverage. As you can see, I'm kind of stuck.
Can you please help? Every penny helps me.
What I Need
Here's the breakdown:
- Total for the chair (including parts that were covered and denied): $26,511.53
- Amount covered by insurance: $8,687.70
- Denied items: $4,007.00
- Total amount I owe: $17,823.83
I cannot offer much in the perks department, but please know that your generous contribution, however large or small, means so much to me. Any contribution you make will go directly to making me feel fully human by diminishing my chronic pain and by increasing my level of personal independence.
Any additional funds over my goal will be set aside for use to maintain the wheelchair or for other denied medical costs.
This new wheelchair will drastically impact the value of my life by doing the following:
- Most obviously, it will allow me to navigate the world. The model of chair that I ordered is designed to navigate bumps while still maintaining its stability. It has several features that are designed to support someone of my weight that my current wheelchair does not have.
- I was born with a condition called Arthrogryposis, and it affects my joints, muscles, and ligaments. I have muscle weakness, stiffness, and a lot of pain. This wheelchair has elevating leg rests, the ability to tilt in space, can recline to a laying position, and has a seat elevator that allows me to increase my seated height by eight inches. The components that allow me to change my seating position are the difference between a life of pain and one where my pain is manageable. The seat elevator will help to compensate for my weaker muscles by allowing me additional access to higher items that would otherwise be out of my reach, or too heavy to lift from that height.
- I live in the city, and my social life is also enhanced by my wheelchair. People who don't use chairs often take for granted the privilege of being able to look a peer in the eyes. The seat elevator will allow me to do that as well. Another way my social life will be enhanced is through the longer battery life that the new chair has.
- This chair also has some safety features that are really important. It has a lights package on it, which will make it safer for me to navigate the city at night. This is something I have to do regularly, and safety has always been a concern.
Other Ways You Can Help
I really appreciate you taking the time to read my story, and if you are in a position to contribute, I will be ever grateful. If you can't though, you can still help. Please share this link through your networks and use the Indiegogo sharing tools.
Please help me fund this wheelchair so my disability can't hold me back.