Rider Spotlight: Crys Davis

Freedom Chair riders aren't just our customers - they're part of the GRIT family. We like to stay in touch, and there's nothing we love more than seeing pictures and hearing stories about their Freedom Chair experiences.

Today's Rider Spotlight features Crys Davis. Crys is one busy woman who has not let her diagnosis of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome slow her down at all. She is a biology professor in her day job, but is also a graduate student working on a PHD in Research Evaluation, Measurement, and Statistics, and also a Masters Degree in Public Health. Her graduate work leads her to doing research in cemeteries. Most of her research has focused on preventing grave damage and grave disruptions in cemeteries that have been flooded.

"Studying headstones at Showman's Rest in Hugo, OK. My [Freedom Chair] made it so much easier to navigate!"

"Studying headstones at Showman's Rest in Hugo, OK. My [Freedom Chair] made it so much easier to navigate!"

"The terrain in cemeteries is really uncertain. Particularly in Oklahoma . . . and so in some cases you go out, and it might be really super muddy in some places; in some places it’s really super dry, and the terrain is really tough and rocky. In this particular cemetery one of the biggest places that it helped was getting over things like big tree roots. As I was moving between rows of headstones, there’s no way I would have been able to do it in my daily chair."

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As half owner in a small artisan candle company, Crys recently attended a 3-day craft fair with her Freedom Chair. "Last year I was out there, and we probably had 3 or 4 inches of just mud; and I was out there in my Quickie, and I couldn’t get around. I was just stuck. I was kind of in our little booth space and just couldn’t move; and any time I needed to do something like go to the bathroom, I had to have somebody help me which I hate. In the Freedom Chair it was soggy and it was nasty and it was a little tough going in some places, but it was very maneuverable, and it was very doable."

Crys and her Service Dog, Abby, at Bartlesville Sunfest Arts and Entertainment Festival.

Crys and her Service Dog, Abby, at Bartlesville Sunfest Arts and Entertainment Festival.

After discovering the Freedom Chair at an Adaptive Sports Expo, Crys, a self-described skeptic, spent 18 months with a pros and cons list trying to decide if the Freedom Chair was the right choice for her. The customer service she received prior to purchasing helped her decide to take the plunge. "I called my husband and said, 'Dang it! Their customer service is great! I really kind of wanted that to be horrible so I could justify not doing it.'" Crys still remained wary, though. She explains, "This is cool, but there’s no way it could be that cool, and I was wrong." Now, in addition to her 2 jobs, grad school work, and disaster response, Cry's future goals with her Freedom Chair include doing a triathlon! 

First hike together in Osage Hills State Park!

First hike together in Osage Hills State Park!

"It’s liberating and I’m getting to do all this stuff that, quite frankly, I never thought I would never be able to do again . . . It has surpassed all of my hopes and expectations in terms of getting around on rougher terrain and being able to hike again and being able to get back out in the field."