The best Christmas gifts are the ones that combine utility and excitement. So an X-box for your Grandmother might not be the perfect gift (although there are exceptions to every rule). But if you or one of your friends or loved ones happens to be in a wheelchair, there are a few holiday gift ideas that might be both useful and fun! There is also a great list on the Christopher Reeve Foundation website which I would encourage you to check out!
“The Camelbak is great because it allows easy accessibility to liquids,” says wheelchair user, Corey Mineo. Whether buying just a bottle or a whole hydration pack, whatever your price range, the Camelbak comes in various colors, styles, shapes and sizes. “It can eliminate the need to hold items in your hands and it will never spill. It is a great alternative to water bottles or water fountains. It fits on a back of a wheelchair or any device. It is great for keeping hydrated,” says Mineo. Visit www.camelbak.com to check out all the styles and where to buy one.
The E-Z Reacher is that extra-long arm you need for picking up dropped or hard to reach items. It can hold items as light as a dime or as heavy as a brick. The top handle requires a light squeeze while the bottom suction cups safely retrieve an item. Take a look at the Reacher at www.arcoa.com.
Tom Hernon was paralyzed from the waist down in 1997 after a dirt biking accident. In 1998, he developed his website, www.back2sports.net, dedicated to helping people with spinal cord injuries get back to life through sports. One piece of adaptive sports equipment he invented is the snow chair. “Our snow chair is an outdoor wheelchair that you can take the wheels off of and put skis on it when you are faced with non-shoveled sidewalks and parking lots, says Hernon. “Everyone in a wheelchair that lives where it snows should have one. I now love winter, I use it to walk my dog, go for winter walks with my girl friend, get to the luge track, use the cross country trails and play sled hockey.” Purchase the snow chair for $1,995 on Hernon’s website.
USA Jeans, “The Leader of Sitting Pants,” specializes in making heavyweight jeans, lightweight jeans, and slacks for wheelchair users. “Because our pants are designed especially for sitting, there is an added level of comfort that helps to prevent pressure sores, eliminates the pants from bunching up in the front and does not pull up tight in the crotch or fall down in the back,” says David Sanchez of USA Jeans. Jeans and slacks can be purchased at www.wheelchairjeans.com for $69.95.
How I Roll
This is the inspiring story of a Virginia country boy—J. Bryant Neville, Jr.—who became a quadriplegic thirty years ago after a car wreck, and how he refused to accept the medical sentence of a life unrealized. Hard work, devoted family, a caring community, and a determination to live as fiercely as his body would allow helped Bryant Neville earn two college degrees, become a respected banking executive, a loving husband and provider, an adoptive parent, and a biological father.
Bryant Neville’s story is a beacon of hope for anyone facing a physical setback who needs proof that life can go on and dreams can be realized, and a guide for those who love and care for them.
More than merely a sports documentary or an inspirational profile of triumph over adversity, Murderball offers a refreshing and progressive attitude toward disability while telling unforgettable stories about uniquely admirable people. It’s ostensibly a film about quadriplegic rugby (or “Murderball,” as it was formerly known), in which players with at least some loss of physical function in all four limbs navigate modified wheelchairs in a hardcore, full-contact sport that takes them all the way to the Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece, in 2004.
Simply put, Murderball is the best film to date about living with a severe disability, but codirectors Henry Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro avoid the sappy, inspirational sentiment that hampers nearly all mainstream films involving disability. By the time this blazing 85-minute film reaches its emotional conclusion, the issue of disability is almost irrelevant; these guys are as normal as anyone, and their life stories led to Murderball becoming the most critically acclaimed documentary of 2005.
From all of us here at Men’s Liberty – Happy Holidays!!!