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 An Inspiring Story for Everyone!

By Rich Fabend

picture includes my wife Marge, our dog Foxy and me on my bike

I taught in the New York State public school system for 34 years, the last 10 in special education. I retired in July 1998. I was extremely active prior to my injury. I spent much of my time in the out of doors and was a licensed New York State Guide. In February 1999, while on vacation in the Caribbean I was struck by a wave which drove me to the bottom breaking four vertebrae in my neck and leaving me with quadriplegia (a C6 complete). After six months of hospitalization and extensive therapy at Craig Hospital I was finally able to return home to begin my new life. The readjustments demanded by our new lifestyle, while extremely difficult for my wife Marge and myself, have been made easier by the continuous support of family and friends. I approach my new daily life with Christopher Reeve’s philosophy; "I refuse to allow a disability to determine how I will live my life. I don't mean to be reckless, but setting a goal that seems a bit daunting actually is very helpful toward recovery." I have returned to many of the outdoor activities that provided me with such pleasure prior to my accident. Recently I have begun doing some motivational speaking in local schools trying to help students realize the personal strength that lies within them.

After my injury, I was greatly disturbed at the high prices of articles made specifically for individuals with disabilities.  What really upsets me is that many of these online "stores" were run by people who were disabled . About a year ago I was talking to a friend about this and he said I should build my own website and encourage people to share ideas they have devised to make life easier.

Even though I had few computer skills prior to my accident I decided to try. I wanted to build a website which contained simple tools and ideas I've come up with to overcome some of the frustrations faced daily by physically challenged individuals. I hope my site will become a viable alternative to these expensive articles.

I am trying to reach as many people as possible and provide them with simple alternatives that are either inexpensive or cost nothing to be made. I have absolutely no intention of charging anything for the information I provide or the plans for constructing any of the devices that are shown on the site. I plan to update my site often.

For more information please visit us at http://www.handihelp.net/613/index.html


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