Nathan Penfold tells us about Wheelie Access, designed to help people all over the world become accustomed to a new or existing disability.
“I first heard of The Lee Spark NF Foundation when my uncle Jonathan was in recovery from NF as he was in contact with Dee Cartledge, the Founder of The Lee Spark NF Foundation.
He rapidly went downhill, but after hospital treatment including operations and skin graphs he was on the mend physically.
Unfortunately the mental repercussions were too much and he slipped into depression and after about a year we lost him.
About 2 years ago I started using a wheelchair due to my illness Dercum disease. I set up a YouTube channel and Facebook group called Wheelie Access which was designed to help people all over the world become accustomed to a new or existing disability.
Last year in honour of my uncle I contacted Dee from The Lee Spark NF Foundation and asked if it was OK to help raise funds by travelling 200 miles in my self-propelled wheelchair to prove that as wheelchair users we are still capable of achieving our goals and help raise awareness of NF.
During our talks I found that there where many people with permanent disabilities too which we opened the doors at Wheelie Access to help those who need someone to talk too and an understanding ear to be listened too.
NF causes many problems with health after being exposed to it, but that doesn’t mean life has to change too much. Yes there will be differences, but these can be learned to be coped with so your life isn’t too affected.
I went from a very active life style to a wheelchair very quickly and I understand how much of a struggle it can be, physically and mentally. No-one is alone with these changes, there is so many people out there ready to help anyone.
If you feel you need someone to talk too, please feel free to find the Wheelie Access Facebook group of nearly 700 members who are non-judging and there to listen and share their experiences. We are also on YouTube under the same name.”