Easter Seals helps disabled Airdrie man regain his independence
By: Allison Chorney
| Posted: Thursday, Apr 17, 2014 11:48 am
Airdronian Lee Chuckry said the gift he received from Easter Seals Alberta was priceless and encourages residents to donate to the Ability in Disability campaign at Safeway on Main Street.
Chuckry, 46, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1996 and the disease has taken its toll on the father-of-two.
“I’ve had a really tough year,” Chuckry said. “I was pretty much housebound for half the year because I couldn’t get out. I lost the ability to walk. I couldn’t get up and down the stairs.”
He said he was confined to his home and had to be carried up and down the stairs, which took an emotional toll on him.
“That’s hard on a person for sure,” he said.
It wasn’t until Easter Seals gave him a scooter and installed a lift in his home that he was able to regain his independence and mobility and is able to comfortably leave his home.
“Without Easter Seals, I’d go without and my quality of life would be 20 per cent of what it is if I didn’t have access to the scooter and the lift,” he said.
In addition to the scooter and lift, Chuckry – who has been unable to work since 2007 – said the organization has provided him with resources and assistance that would otherwise not be available to him.
“They have helped me immensely,” he said.
Chuckry moved from Balzac to Airdrie in 2011, and is asking the community to come together and help support Easter Seals Alberta by visiting Safeway and donating $2 to the campaign. In return for the $2 donation they will receive five AirMiles Reward Miles.
The money raised will help fund a camp experience known as Camp Horizon, a special camp for people with physical disabilities.
“Easter Seals provides support to families living with disabilities and with the support of Safeway; we are able to provide life changing recreational experiences as Easter Seals Camp Horizon and equipment programs to the families in our communities across Alberta,” said Easter Seals Alberta CEO Susan Boivin.
The campaign runs until April 25 and last year the Airdrie store raised $8,389 for Easter Seals.
“Helping our neighbours living with a diverse range of abilities has long been a Safeway priority,” said Chuck Mulvenna, president of Safeway operations for Sobeys Inc. “Currently, over 500 people living with disabilities work at Safeway stores across Western Canada and we see firsthand the incredible work of Easter Seals Canada.”
“People take so much for granted,” Chuckry said. “In my case, the ability to leave your house or go outside. As simple as walking down four steps wasn’t possible (for me).”
He said the loss of mobility was life changing and he wouldn’t be enjoying life as much as he is now without the support of the Easter Seals.
“Even the smallest donation adds up,” he said.