What started out as a Go Fund Me to help just one family has turned into a much bigger effort — and again, brings up the issue of accessibility.
Lyndon Andersen, a 5-year-old boy living with Cerebral Palsy, loves spending time with his family and getting outside and exploring. He is learning to walk but is still confined to a wheelchair for now.
His mother was recently able to borrow a Hippocampe — an all-terrain type wheelchair that allows people with disabilities to travel off the beaten path — from the Janeway after waiting on a list.
That proved to be life-changing for the family. However, they only get to hold onto it for three weeks.
There’s no coverage for this piece of equipment says Lyndon’s aunt, Vickii Stamp, who started a Go Fund Me a week ago with the goal to raise enough money to purchase a personalized Hippocampe for Lyndon. Once he’s outgrown it, it will be donated to the Janeway for others to use.
There are said to be only four Hippocampes in St. John’s, and what began as an effort for one turned into something bigger when they quickly exceeded their goal of $8,000.
Stamp says initially it was just for Lyndon, but then they thought they would take it further and try to secure more Hippocampes for other families to use, making the waitlist shorter and allowing people to avail of them sooner.
She describes it as a whirlwind of a week. Their new goal is set at $13,500 so they can purchase another base-model Hippocampe to immediately be donated to the Janeway.
It also once again raises the issue of accessibility.
Stamp says one day when out for a walk on a trail near the Janeway, Lyndon and his mother got stuck on six separate occasions. She says that’s just one example, and there are many more people like Lyndon who are left out or put in dangerous situations.
For her, and most others, things like walking down the street to the store is easy, but in a wheelchair, there is a lot to take into consideration and people have to make sure they can get to their location on a route that is safe.
She circles to when Lyndon and his mother got stuck on a trail. Thankfully, she says they were helped, but for someone by themselves, she wonders how long they could sit there stuck.
Stamp also believes making sure trails are groomed and accessible is important for not just Lyndon and her own family, but for many in the community.