Wheelchair Recipient Update: Karen Spencer

June 12th, 2014

Karen Spencer, who received a custom power wheelchair donation from the Darrell Gwynn Foundation in January, recently sent us an article she published on Polio Echo, Inc. We LOVE hearing from our recipients!

Karen Spencer

Wheels of Fortune

By Karen Spencer

This year has started off being one of the best years of my life. On January 13th, I was given the most incredible gift, a $26,000 Permobil Power Wheelchair. Yes, given! And, believe me – it has changed my life.

 It all started almost three years ago. Due to further deterioration of my hip joint and new increased pain, arm weakness; my doctor ordered a full rehab chair to replace my standard power chair. I submitted the prescription to my insurance company, assuming they would comply with my physician’s order. How naïve I was.

This was the beginning of over two years of struggling with my insurance company. I was repeatedly denied coverage. My physicians and I finally succeeded in obtaining nothing more than manual leg lifts to be fitted to my already ill-fitting chair. Of course, being beyond frustrated by that point, I rather impolitely declined their final offer.

At some point during this on-going battle, I learned of the Darrel Gwynn Wheelchair Donation Program. It exists to provide underprivileged individuals with wheelchairs that they would otherwise be unable to obtain. Their goal is to donate a wheelchair that is representative of the applicant’s needs.

I immediately contacted them and began the rather lengthy application process. A little over a year later they called to inform me that I was the lucky recipient of one of their chairs. They not only gave me the chair that I needed, but they upgraded it to a Permobil C300, the Mercedes of chairs. It has all of the features my doctor ordered, power elevating seat – auto tilt and recline and power elevating leg rests.

Darrell Gwynn is truly an exceptional human being. Born into a racing family, he began racing in his teens and was soon a rising star, winning most of his races. His sensational career was cut short when he suffered a horrific crash. Six weeks later he left the hospital trading in his race car for a power wheelchair. And, the rest is history.

I am so blessed and will be forever indebted to this extraordinary group of people. Darrell and his team have quite literally saved me from real pain and despair to joy and gratitude. I am so fortunate.

Today, I have a new and uplifted outlook on life which now includes the very possible potential for miracles.

Good luck, God bless and never ever give up!

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