Texas mom embraces disability with grace, reaches out for mobility chair

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Danielle Hetland, from Hewitt, Texas, and her husband travelled all over the world on mission trips to help others in need.

On a mission trip to Southeast Asia in 2011, however,  Danielle contracted the West Nile Virus.  This infection would forever change her life, as the virus became meningoencephalitis. Many of the problems that this illness leaves behind is caused from the brain swelling against the skull, causing permanent damage to many of the microscopic electrical systems that control everything in the body.

Danielle was unable to care for herself or children for months, and at times couldn’t move, walk or eat or form words or thoughts.

Danielle reached out to Advocates with Individuals with Disabilities – Foundation at AID.org after reading online about another individual that had received assistance from AID.org.  Danielle was looking for a mobility chair and wrote this in her request for assistance:

Long, difficult journey

“Honestly, I could have used a power wheelchair a long time ago, but was far too embarrassed to pursue it, not to mention the cost was high… and we are still paying every month on past medical bills. It has been a very long, difficult journey, but we have come so far.”

During an interview with the AID Foundation panel, Danielle shared that she was going back to school to pursue a degree in occupational therapy.  She said, “my perspective has changed from shame and depression, to feeling proud for what I have overcome and look forward to where I am going.  I now am looking to build a future (and get out of the house more!) and get on enjoying and contributing to life. Embracing changes is part of this process.”

Jennifer Rogers with AID Foundation was inspired by Danielle’s transition and said, “Danielle asked for help, and that is an incredibly hard thing to do. The AID Foundation was excited to offer the EZ Lite Cruiser® to give Danielle independence and mobility to take her kids to the park, run errands and live her life once again with confidence.”

Now that she has her chair, Danielle’s first line of business is to travel once again, for the first time on her own. The donation from AID.org Foundation is allowing Danielle to meet her best friend for a girl’s weekend in Seattle.- PRNewswire

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