by Jane Fennessy
For most of my adult life I have had one goal in mind to have my very own standing frame. I didn’t want one that was on loan for a short time or could be taken off me at short notice. I wanted one that I could use at my own free will and take comfort in knowing that it’s not going anywhere.
I have been able to use a standing frame for three months of the year twice a year, which belongs to the H.S.E. since 2010 and decided it was time to take control and make my goal a reality.
For those of you who are not familiar with a standing frame, it is a piece of physiotherapy equipment and it allows me to stand in an upright position completely opposite to my chair. It allows my body to grow and stretches many different muscles at the one time. This was not an easy journey or target to reach and I could not do it alone.
In early 2014 I put some plans in motion and formed my standing frame army. This army included family and friends; too many to name, willing to give up their time to support me in achieving my goal and making my dream come true. We organised a lot of fundraising activities and each initiative was assigned to one of my soldiers. The battle commenced!
Each activity brought in its own contributions. We had a soccer tournament, participated in the ‘Flora Mini Marathon’ where some of my male friends became females for the day, a benefit night and my local Tesco got on board and nominated me for the ‘Tesco Community Fund’. All these events and activities were run by friends and I assisted and supported where possible. Collectively, there were enough funds raised to purchase my standing frame.
All our strength and determination paid off and every one of my solider gave 110 percent and my dream was about to come true………. Finally, on the 18th November 2014 my standing frame was delivered. I have to say I sat and looked at it for a long time, still not quite believing it was all mine and yet mentally planning how and when I would use it. My dream is now a reality and I can now leave the confinement of my wheelchair as often as I want and like.
In my opinion having to fund raise for my own equipment is not acceptable, but in saying that if I didn’t raise the money I was the one to lose out. I did benefit from the use of the H.S.E. standing frame for three months, twice a year but I had to fill the gap myself. I was lucky enough to have family and friends to support me, but realise that there are a lot of people left in limbo. You don’t realize how much people care about you until you send out a call for help and help is what I received tenfold.
I will be for ever and always thankful to everyone who gave to my cause. If there is one thing I have learned throughout this experience, it is to never give up on your dreams no matter how big or small. Sometimes you just have to ask the right people to help you achieve it. I now have the choice to stand if and when I want and that was my main aim.