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GRIT Freedom Chair for Nathan Aulisio

My name is Nathan Aulisio and I am thirty-one years old. In March 2018, I started having severe symptoms and struggles walking, loss of balance, and sensory loss in my legs and feet, in addition to motor skill and sensory loss in both hands. This prevented my mobility, independence, and made it impossible to go out and do the physical activities I used to do with ease.

I spent several months pursuing a diagnosis and went into medical debt to find out what was causing these issues; I spent several days in the hospital for testing around my oldest son's seventh birthday earlier this year. As a result of these tests, doctors found that I suffer from a rare genetic disease that impacts nerves and muscle control (leading to nerve loss and muscle atrophy). The disease is Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disorder, or CMT, type 2D. I have now become medically disabled and am no longer able to work, go hunting, participate in 5K runs/obstacle courses, or even play with my young kids in the backyard or at family parks. I've been married for ten years to my wife Bekah and we have worked hard to raise and provide for our three young children (ages seven, four, and three years old). 

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The plans we had made early this year changed drastically from camping, obstacle runs, outdoor activities with the kids, and walking the dog, to finding ways to improve my mobility to gain that back. Since March, I have gone from walking without assistance, to walking with a cane, to relying on a wheelchair. I have an electric chair I use in the backyard and a manual one I use in the home. I've used both but have had battery-life issues with the electric and have gotten repeatedly stuck in the yard and on hills; in these situations, my wife has to drag me back to the house for my manual chair and push the electric one inside to charge. The manual chair has the same issue with getting stuck on hills (symptoms of northeast-PA living and the mountains) and in the backyard. In addition, I cannot take the dog for walks, as the current chair does not work on the hills and roads near my home. It has not been viable for any outdoor activities or staying physically fit.

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While researching better options for transportation, I came across the GRIT Spartan Freedom Chair. It is an off-road chair designed to help people with disabilities get back out there and enjoy the activities they were able to so before their disability started. They developed a Spartan model that is made for people that enjoy the outdoors of rough walking paths, 5K runs/courses, and so on. I have not had the privilege of testing one, however, I have seen this chair successfully used by several participants in the Spartan obstacle course and outdoor hiking paths. This is something I know will help me gain my independence and outdoor activities again. The cost with the options I need is $4,094.00 and, unfortunately, it is not covered by insurance. With high-deductible health insurance through my wife, and my loss of income, we are not able to purchase this fantastic Freedom Chair. As wonderful as this chair will be for me, it is an extra expense that would be extremely difficult for us to manage. If you would consider contributing to this expense, I would greatly appreciate it.

It's taken a village to help get Bekah, my family, and me through the past year. I'm hoping I can ask for your support. We would deeply and truly appreciate any support. Thank you.

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About the GRIT Freedom Chair

The GRIT Freedom Chair is the mountain bike of wheelchairs. It is the most versatile chair on the market, comprehensively designed to handle any terrain. Whether through trails, sand, grass, snow, or pavement, the Freedom Chair is built for the rider to push themselves. Designed by a team of MIT engineers, the Freedom Chair's patented, easy-push levers reduce shoulder strain and put the rider in control of their own mobility. Learn more about the GRIT Freedom Chair at www.gogrit.us.

$230 gifted

to reach the $4,094 total

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Created December 19, 2018.


$50 gifted from anonymous

$50 gifted via GoFundMe

$10 gifted from Kathleen

$10 gifted from Nathan

$10 gifted from Kim

$100 gifted from Rebekah