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A letter to my wheelchair – in need of repair

Dear Chair:

Two and a half years ago you and I made a deal. I would work and in return we could go on adventures together. We’ve been to Edmonton, where the snow fell in March and we could barely get through the snow. In England, where I blew up my transformer and you held on for as long as you could. We learned that English chargers do it quietly, and with style.

You are a part of my identity. Accompanying me on everything; my daily commute, protests, coffee meetings, kisses, and cat cuddling sessions. You make my life possible, and I’ve failed you.

I took a risk. Like many who work in wheelchairs I pay your repairs out of pocket. It gets expensive. It would’ve cost $200 for them just to show up this weekend, just to look at you. Instead I chose to pay rent, and student loans, and that amazing new coffee maker I bought the week before. But hey, this was the deal we made, to live life without fear of broken parts.

Now we’re here, you and I, unmoving. Let down by an unregulated wheelchair repair system that encourages people to stay on poverty; on ODSP repairs are free, and you and I thank the credit card. It’s funny how with all my activism I missed what’s right under my feet. Now we wait, without any sense of when the work will be done, or what it will cost.

There has to be something better, for all of us.

1 thought on “A letter to my wheelchair – in need of repair”

  1. Melissa,

    It is a strange comfort to know that others think of their wheelchairs as “people”…

    I love your blog, and I feel your pain. I’ve just started blogging about the Wheelchair Services system in Manitoba. It is in desperate need of sweeping overhaul. Anyway, I’d love it if you’d stop by for a read, so we can compare notes. The Ontario experience seems to be quite different (though not necessarily less frustrating). 🙂

    -Danielle

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