Accessible Pool Lift for My Community – Pushing Beyond Minimum Accessibility Standards

DONATION LINK: https://helphopelive.org/campaign/20851/

Dearest Friends, Family, and Supporters!

For many of you that know me, as a C6 quadriplegic paralyzed from the chest down in a shallow water diving accident in 2010, swimming is the one activity in my life that reduces the chronic nerve pain throughout my entire body and allows me to get out of my wheelchair to swim independently.

Swimming not only helps with many of the physical secondary complications that arise from being paralyzed, but allows me the dignity, grace, independence to have one activity in my life that is the most freeing experience in my life.

After being humbly crowned Ms. Wheelchair America 2023 in August on the platform of health insurance advocacy I spend nearly 30% of my week giving back to the community to make our society more inclusive in addition to working a full-time job to cover a very expensive disability life for caregivers, health insurance costs, and much more as many of us with disabilities are unfortunately put in the challenging situation to navigate ourselves.

I love what I do and I live by two philosophies in life. Paying it forward and Human Kindness. I was extremely humbled to connect with 21 incredible wheelchair advocates around the country at the Ms. Wheelchair America competition. Each of these extraordinary women work each and every day, as many of us do, to push the limits of minimal accessibility standards within our country to create a more inclusive society for everyone.

This takes work and extreme determination on a daily basis despite many of the painful secondary complications we each incur every day.


Unfortunately, society has not caught up to the concept of full inclusion yet. With that said, while we are constantly trying to strive for systemic change, we do have to learn how to work within a broken system in order to not only survive in life, but to thrive.

Under the Fair Housing Act in private condominiums, a Home Owners Association is only required by law to allow for reasonable accommodation or modification within a community, but at the owner’s expense. I have worked with my HOA over the last year to try and convince my community to purchase a pool lift or reach out to other community residents to gauge interest in purchasing and accessible portable pool lift to no avail. I was, however, granted reasonable accommodation to purchase my own pool lift.

However, these pieces of equipment are expensive. $10,000-$15,000 expensive. Naturally, with mounting bills living life with a disability I do not have the disposable income for such a large capital investment.

At present, I have my husband lift me or a caregiver/sister put me on their back to navigate into a tricky pool down steps to swim. It is the kindest act for them to help me, but just dangerous. I have been doing this for nearly 2 years, but the time has come where it is getting too dangerous and people are getting injured with helping me into the pool.

I am humbly, kindly, and graciously requesting any help of my friends, family, and community who might be able to offer assistance to raise funds through https://www.Help.Hope.Live.org, a nonprofit charity donation website. Help.Hope.Live has a small fee that solely supports the nonprofit. Donors can also choose to cover the fee when they donate so that 100% of their donation covers medical and related costs.

I am looking to purchase the PAL Portable Aquatic Lift—check it out at: https://www.srsmith.com/en-us/products/pool-access/pal-lift/, which is the safest and most accessible for those with higher level mobility issues. I have the next 9 months until the pool opens again and have high hopes to be able to finally swim independently with minimal help for my caregivers getting me the in the pool by next summer.

We have to do better. We need to change these laws that private communities under the Fair Housing Act are required by law to have accessible pool lifts. Public pools are all required to have accessible lifts, so why not communities?

Disability doesn’t discriminate and any one of us can join this club for any reason. One would hope that each of our communities would pay attention to and take action on being inclusive as anyone able-bodied person, God forbid, join this club at any moment. Further, as we age, we are all going to join the disability club in some fashion.

When I raise these funds for the pool lift, I am going to be 100% inclusive to all of my fellow residents, friends, and family who may have use of this pool lift. I believe in inclusion 100% and that starts with one person and spreads to a coalition of folks promoting inclusion in all facets of our community.

Please join me in my campaign for support to swim independently.

My deepest gratitude and humble thanks!

DONATION LINK: https://helphopelive.org/campaign/20851/

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