Tuesday, September 30, 2014

UPDATE: Wheelchair Access on Commercial Airlines

We are looking for a minimum of 25,000 signatures before the petition is delivered, and are currently at roughly 19,400. I am not the author, but I am Facebook friends with the author, and say "we" because I identify with the need for fair access on commercial flights and champion the cause.

Currently, all wheelchair users must transfer to a regular airline seat, and have their wheelchair stored with checked luggage. That would work fine for people who can walk a little bit and who have a relatively inexpensive manual wheelchair with basic components that are tough to damage.

But that policy is terrible for people like me who require customized power wheelchairs that cost $20,000-$50,000. Without my chair, I am basically stuck in bed. Not only does it have special features to prevent skin breakdown, but it is literally my legs, and it also carries my ventilator. I cannot risk having my chair damaged in storage, and I also cannot risk getting a pressure sore by sitting in a regular seat. Incurring a pressure sore would also require me to stay in bed, and negate whatever reason I am traveling.

But even for manual wheelchair users, the current policy adds unnecessary difficulty and risk. The below petition proposes a simple solution that is also economically sound for airlines. It's a win-win.

Signing the petition merely requires your name, email, and ZIP Code.

petitions.moveon.org/sign/wheelchair-access-on.fb50?

Thank you for your consideration.

Bill Miller :-)
C1-2 Quadriplegic with a 255 High Bowling Game
Co-founder of Manufacturing Genuine Thrills Inc. d/b/a MGT
Business website: http://www.ikanbowler.com
Personal website: http://www.lookmomnohands.net

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Wheelchair Access on Commercial Airlines

Power wheelchairs often cost $20,000-$50,000. And yet to fly commercial, currently all wheelchair users must transfer into a regular seat and have their wheelchair stored with the checked luggage. Not only are we at risk for getting pressure sores by transferring to regular seats, but I know of people who have had their wheelchairs significantly damaged in storage. And it usually takes a specialist to repair them. If the chair is unusable upon reaching one's destination… then what?

That basically prohibits me and many others from flying, and it makes things unnecessarily difficult and potentially harmful for all wheelchair users.

Please consider signing the below petition to make commercial airlines wheelchair accessible. All that is required is your name, email, and ZIP Code.

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/wheelchair-access-on.fb50?source=s.icn.fb&r_by=9549216

Thanks,

Bill Miller :-)
C1-2 Quadriplegic with a 255 High Bowling Game
Co-founder of Manufacturing Genuine Thrills Inc. d/b/a MGT
Business website: http://www.ikanbowler.com
Personal website: http://www.lookmomnohands.net

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Vent-Dependent Quadriplegic Bowls 24th Game of 200+

Just to share some of what is possible, despite the need for a power wheelchair and mechanical ventilation, I'm sharing the scoresheet from my 24th game of 200 or better:



For anyone new to my blog, what allows me to bowl is a fancy "ramp like" device called the IKAN Bowler®, which attaches to my wheelchair. When it is attached, a caddy places the ball at the top as I instruct (because how the ball is set up determines the shape of the shot) and the rest is up to how well I drive my wheelchair and execute the shot by stopping my chair.

It's a whole lot of fun, especially bowling with friends (fellow wheelchair users, like our Quad Squad group, or able-bodied folks) or family. Technically, I am credited with co-inventing the IKAN Bowler® and for more information, click the link in my signature for our website.

If there is glory in bowling over 200 from my wheelchair, it goes to God. Thanks.
 
Bill Miller :-)
C1-2 Quadriplegic with a 255 High Bowling Game
Co-founder of Manufacturing Genuine Thrills Inc. d/b/a MGT
Business website: http://www.ikanbowler.com
Personal website: http://www.lookmomnohands.net

Saturday, May 31, 2014

25 Things That Surprise the Public about What People with Spinal Cord Injury Can Do

Since this blog is about empowering wheelchair users, I have to share this list of "25 Things That Surprise the Public about What People with Spinal Cord Injury Can Do" from Shepherd Center, a specialty hospital where I rehabbed in 1997.

http://news.shepherd.org/25-things-that-surprise-the-public-about-what-people-with-spinal-cord-injury-can-do/

That's "just" 25 – I'm sure we could come up with quite a bit more.
 
Bill Miller :-)
C1-2 Quadriplegic with a 255 High Bowling Game
Co-founder of Manufacturing Genuine Thrills Inc. d/b/a MGT
Business website: http://www.ikanbowler.com
Personal website: http://www.lookmomnohands.net

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Tribute to Aaron Parker

My friend and fellow Quad Squad bowler Aaron Parker passed away peacefully in his sleep on the morning of April 24, after a short battle with cancer (I say short because his cancer was discovered approximately 2 weeks before his passing). He is free from paralysis for the first time since July 1, 1981 and he is now walking the streets of heaven.

First, as part of this tribute, I want to say that it is pretty amazing that Aaron lived successfully as a C7 quadriplegic for nearly 33 years. Aaron was a son, brother, husband, cousin, and friend to many, but probably the first word that he would use to describe himself is: Christian.

Aaron was one of our most regular bowlers at Quad Squad bowling. He loved bowling and the fellowship of our group. Aaron would lead us in prayer before we would begin bowling. In the prayer, Aaron would start with "Dear Heavenly Father," and, rain or shine, he would give thanks to the Lord for the beautiful day, for the members of our group (which includes volunteers) both present and absent, and especially for "Jesus and all he has done for us."

Here is the write up of Aaron's best bowling day:

http://www.wheelchairbowlingrecords.com/Aaron_Parker_209.htm

This blog is about empowering wheelchair users. Aaron would gladly tell any wheelchair user, or any person, that the most empowering thing that a person can do is to repent our sins and accept the gift of Jesus Christ. Because doing so takes the fear out of dying and ensures that we will have eternal life in heaven – without paralysis, pain, or illness of any kind.

Every time that I remember seeing Aaron, he was always positive, upbeat, and quick to smile – regardless of circumstances – all of which stemmed from his Christian faith. I am a Christian also, and if you would like to know more about the gift of Jesus and becoming a Christian, please contact me.

Aaron used to conclude his emails with "In Christ Jesus," which is how I will conclude this tribute to Aaron.

Enjoy heaven Aaron, and I will see you up there in time my friend.

In Christ Jesus,

Bill Miller :-)
C1-2 Quadriplegic with a 255 High Bowling Game
Co-founder of Manufacturing Genuine Thrills Inc. d/b/a MGT
Business website: http://www.ikanbowler.com
Personal website: http://www.lookmomnohands.net

Monday, March 31, 2014

Rhonda's Bowl-a-thon Wrapup

Rhonda's Bowl-a-thon went great! We had an excellent turnout of Quad Squad folks and able-bodied friends and family, with plenty of good bowling and good fun for all. And more importantly, we did a significant amount of good for Rhonda.

Rhonda said she was overwhelmed by all the support and quite grateful for the efforts that everyone contributed, which should allow her to remain in her apartment at least through 2014.

The wheelchair/IKAN Bowler® users had these high games: Melissa 91, Brenda 100, Aaron 133, Lilian 145, Rhonda 168, Peggy 173, and Bill 192. Quite a few able-bodied folks bowled also, but I could not begin to list all their scores.

The bowl-a-thon was set up for users to bowl three games, and to collect money from sponsors who pledged a certain amount per pin based on the bowler's highest of the three games. Before the bowl-a-thon, thanks to the collective generosity of quite a few friends and family members, I was able to garner pledges that meant I would be bowling for more than $8 per pin. My average is about 155, so if I bowled my average, it would result in over $1200 for Rhonda. With that much per pin, quite frankly, I was feeling some pressure to bowl well.

As the below scoresheet shows, I was sharing a lane with my uncle TJ, and I had a 160, 167, and 192:



Under the circumstances, I actually think it was the best three-game series that I have ever bowled, and I believe I had some heavenly help. With the pressure of wanting to help Rhonda as much as possible, I managed to start with a game above my average, and increase my highest score for the bowl-a-thon with each game. Not only that, but I converted every single non-split spare of the three-game series. I'm almost positive that I have never done that before. And even though I have had 23 games of 200 or better, I have not had that many games without an open frame. In the last game, the 192, I had either a spare or strike in each frame.

All glory to God, and may God bless Rhonda and everyone who contributed to her bowl-a-thon.

If you want to know more about Rhonda, why we chose to do a bowl-a-thon for her, how it was set up, etc., please visit this link:

http://www.lookmomnohands.net/Rhonda.htm

Bill Miller :-)
C1-2 Quadriplegic with a 255 High Bowling Game
Co-founder of Manufacturing Genuine Thrills Inc. d/b/a MGT
Business website: http://www.ikanbowler.com
Personal website: http://www.lookmomnohands.net

Friday, February 28, 2014

New Bowling Record for Males with Muscular Dystrophy

Timo Toivonen, a 25-year-old man with spinal muscular atrophy (a form of muscular dystrophy), has upped the mark for males with MD by bowling a very impressive 227. His game included eight strikes and four spares, and if you add that up, you can tell he had no open frames (and had three marks in the 10th frame).

For all the details, check out:

http://www.wheelchairbowlingrecords.com/Timo_Toivonen_227.htm


Congratulations Timo! :-)

Bill Miller :-)
C1-2 Quadriplegic with a 255 High Bowling Game
Co-founder of Manufacturing Genuine Thrills Inc. d/b/a MGT
Business website: http://www.ikanbowler.com
Personal website: http://www.lookmomnohands.net