December 2023
by Claire and Rick Sharp
First, I have to say again how wonderfully responsive Team Gleason was in helping me to obtain the use of this portable power wheelchair.  Travis, in particular, was so helpful and I had no clue I would be able to get it as quickly as I did.

The portable power wheelchair has been wonderful and it’s a lot of fun wheeling down the street!  I don’t know if you ever saw a movie called “Dead Poets Society” which came out in 1989.  It was a good film, and one in which Robin Williams played a serious role as Professor Keating.  This story, about a real professor who, among other things, taught his students how to look at the world from different perspectives.  One scene that stayed with me was when he had all his students stand up on top of their desks to view the classroom and each other from a different perspective.

Sitting in a wheelchair can have the same effect on someone who has always viewed the world from a standing position. It’s a bit intimidating at first as an adult, but it also reminds you to interact with everyone, including small children, from their level.

My philosophy aside, I truly look forward to using this lightweight and easy to maneuver power wheelchair much more as the weather gets a bit warmer and into our beautiful Spring and Summer in Oregon.

Last Saturday night, we had our annual neighborhood progressive dinner.  In past years, I have always hosted one of the courses, but this year it was too much for me to volunteer, and of course, all my wonderful neighbors were supportive and said I had done more than my share in previous years.  So, my husband, Rick, and I enjoyed the festivities and being with our wonderful neighbors.  I was able to use the power wheelchair to go to each house and although a bit cold at the end, it was nice not having to get in and out of a car just to go down the street, as I did last year.

I used to walk 5 days a week in my neighborhood enjoying the exercise as well as looking at the neighbor’s landscaping, beautiful flowers in the spring and summer and enjoying the fresh air.  I look forward to using the portable power wheelchair to continue getting out sans the exercise.

Again, I can’t thank Team Gleason for all you have done to make my/our lives easier as we navigate these earlier stages of my ALS.

I have attached a photo that was just taken last Saturday of me and my husband at our neighborhood progressive dinner.  I look forward to participating in many more neighborhood events and just spending time with friends and family and using the power wheelchair as much as I can.

Cheers for a healthy, safe and joyful holiday season to you and all of Team Gleason!

Claire and Rick Sharp