It's not just our Freedom Chair Riders that are a part of the GRIT Family. The Freedom Chair experience extends to our riders' loved ones as well. We wanted to highlight those Trail Buddies who accompany our riders on their adventures, and hear about how the Freedom Chair has helped their loved ones. Today's Trail Buddy Spotlight is Max Zoghbi.
"Don't let the one you love miss out on the many memories you will make together with the Freedom Chair."
"I met BonnieKate and I remember thinking, 'That is the most beautiful person I have ever seen' . . . There was something so pure about her spirit and smile; it made a lasting impression . . . The only time I would see her is at church, and just short of worship, admiring her, seeing her smile from across the room was the best part of my Sunday mornings for quite a while."
Eventually, he asked her out.
"We dated for a few weeks before circumstance, and a slightly too epic date planned by Yours Truly scared her off. I was completely blind-sided and totally crushed . . . My best friend told me the age gap was too much and to just let it go, but I knew better . . . I just knew that she was the one . . . It was enough to wait, so I waited."
During their time apart, Max often thought about BonnieKate. Then, he received a phone call one night with some devastating news. On a long road trip, BonnieKate and her friend had stopped in Aurora, CO, one night to catch the premier of THE DARK NIGHT RISES when a shooter senselessly opened fire on the theater.
"BonnieKate was shot. An AR-15 rifle bullet sailed across the theater, completely destroying her left knee . . . She's been in pain ever since the shooting, and might be for the rest of her life. "
It was months after giving up his desire for more than friendship that Max and BonnieKate started dating again, and a while later they were married. Max documented their love story in a film entitled "Wildflower." They now travel and run a YouTube Channel called "Adventure Us" from their Air Stream trailer named Rosemary.
Did Max have any concerns when BonnieKate first got her Freedom Chair?
Transporting the Freedom Chair was one of Max's main concerns.
"I thought maybe it would be cumbersome to keep track of, to keep together, and load in/out of our truck. It really isn't and is very easy to use."
What is a typical Freedom Chair outing like for Max and BonnieKate?
A stroll in nature is where you will typically find Max and BonnieKate.
"We use [the GRIT Freedom Chair] to exercise together, we call it 'strolling' or 'going for a stroll'. It allows us to invest time and make memories in places we wouldn't otherwise be able to. Often that is in nature, where we both draw a deep and profound sense of meaning from as we relish in God's creation and the beauty of His artistry in the great outdoors. It has given us freedom; freedom to know that our life isn't so limited, and that we too can have and enjoy the simple pleasures of life like a hike or stroll through a park or trail."
They can now spend the time together, free of limitations.
"There is a sense of 'oneness' because we can both move at the same speed and be truly together. It is very refreshing. It is also a great gift and joy, one I took for granted, to be able to exercise together. That has been really nice."
How does the Freedom Chair enhance the time Max and BonnieKate spend together?
Max believes that the benefits of the Freedom Chair for BonnieKate has well worth any kind of investment:
"It is hard to quantify . . . so I understand someone who is on the outside looking in thinking 'Is it worth it? Is that value there justified in the price tag?' I was there too. After living with it for almost a year, it is SO worth it. It has given my wife dignity, freedom. joy and purpose, don't let the one you love miss out on those things as well and the many memories you will make together with the Freedom Chair."