Freedom. That word has so many meanings, depending on who you ask. As a black and physically disabled woman, freedom certainly means different things, depending on the day.
One aspect of freedom became more real to me toward the end of last year. My power wheelchair that I’d had for over seven years (I know, that’s a couple of years too long) began to malfunction. I’ve been a power wheelchair user for over 20 years (more than half my life). I’d grown accustomed to the independence that the push of a button could bring. With each new wheelchair I received, new enhancements made this independence even greater. Things like tilt and recline, elevating leg rests, and power elevated seating became things I grew to enjoy and rely on.
Losing My Freedom
So, when these features that I appreciated and that my body relied on stopped working, I felt like I’d lost my freedom. I couldn’t live the life I’d grown used to and was grateful for. I couldn’t go to the same places, do the same things and work the same hours because I didn’t have the wheelchair support I needed. I spent many days working from the side of my bed and foregoing activities that made my life so rich.
Receiving My New 4Front® 2 Power Chair
Thankfully, late last fall, I received an invitation that changed my life and brought back my freedom: the opportunity to become a brand ambassador for Quantum. This honor couldn’t have come at a better time. In fact, my beautiful 4Front 2 Power Chair in raspberry pink and white, arrived the day before Thanksgiving. It was just in time, allowing me to comfortably share the holidays with my family and friends. Finally, I had the features I missed, like tilt and recline. I also had new features I’d never even dreamed of having on a power chair, like a backup camera, higher seat elevation and even a cup holder. All of these are providing me with an even greater quality of life before.
Thank you so much to the Quantum team for giving me back my freedom!
About Andraéa LaVant: Andraéa is a disability consultant and worked as an impact producer for Crip Camp, a feature-length documentary on Netflix. Andraéa lives in Tempe, Arizona, and uses a 4Front 2 Power Chair.