Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Mobility Assistance Devices can really improve Quality of life

Photo of Pride Mobility Products 
When it comes to living with a physical disability the need for mobility assistance devices that can improve your quality of life become very important. After all many of these devices allow us to remain independent. The entire purpose of any type of mobility assistance device it helps make our lives easier.

Over the last few years I have experienced increased difficulty in stand up from a seated position. This resulted in making it challenging for me to get up from the couch in my living room. Having to push off of the coffee table was really starting to aggravate the muscles in my arms. At times the pain it caused was unbearable.

It was at this point when I started seriously looking into lifter chairs which simply raise up to make it easier to stand up from a seated position. A mobility assistance device that I knew benefited those of us who face these types of issues. I actually have many friends living with Muscular Dystrophy and even other physical disabilities who say owning a lift chair has changed their lives.

It was back in November of 2014 when I was lucky enough to be approved for funding to get a lift chair through Muscular Dystrophy Canada. I must admit that since my lifter chair arrived my life has changed. I am so thankful that I no longer have to push up off my legs or the coffee table and ever since I no longer suffer from upper arm pain. I actually wish I looked into getting one many years ago.

Now when it came to choosing the right lift chair it involved trying out offering from many different manufacturers. One company that did stand out was Pride Mobility. One reason they stood out to me is due to the fact that they offer a wide range of mobility assistance devices. I already know that one day I may need the assistance of an electric scooter so it is probability best to go with a manufacture that has been around for a long time.

When I was testing out different lift chairs I found a few brands seemed cheap, plus many of them didn't offer fabric options that were very appealing. Thankfully a large company that moves a larger number of lifter chairs can offer better fabric choices. After all being a young man with a physical disability I still want a lift chair that looks good in my living room. At this point I couldn't be happier as my lifter chair has certainly has improved my quality of life around the home. 

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Laps for MD on track at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

Laps 4 MD supporter Joey McColm
Over the weekend it was the kick of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. All winter long I have been waiting for this weekend as Laps 4 MD would have three drivers from Canada's Best Racing Team participating in the race. This included Joey McColm, Erica Thiering and Kevin Poitras. This marked the second year of Canada's Best Racing Team donating $1 from every lap they lead to Muscular Dystrophy Canada. Helping to make a difference in the lives of over 50,000 Canadian`s living with Muscular Dystrophy. As an individual living with Muscular Dystrophy I am so thankful for their support. Plus in a way seeing the Laps 4 MD decals on their cars makes me feel like I am part of the team even if it is just a small part. So it was on Saturday afternoon when we made our way up to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park with a few friends. As we pulled up to the main gate the drivers from the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series were on track. The sound of the cars on track was simply amazing, helping to add to the excitement of being at the track. A place I truly love to be. This usually results in the excitement causing me to push myself at time farther than I should and I usually end up paying for it the next day. So when ever I arrive at the track my plan is to get a lot accomplished which includes taking a lot of pictures to make the physical demand I will put on my body under worth it.
Laps 4 MD supporter Erica Thiering - photo by
 So our first goal of the day was to find the most accessible part of the track that wouldn't involve us not having to climb one of the many hills you find at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. This happened to be inside turn one where a few race teams were set up. We didn't know if this area was off limits but with it being the only fully accessible part of the track we had no other choice but to stay. Its the perfect place to for those with physical limitations and for anyone who uses a wheelchair to view the track. I truly believe that Canadian Tire Motorsport Park has a real opportunity here to cater to those of us who attend racing events and have a disability. After all if they paved the area inside turn one and allowed those of us with accessible parking permits to park and view the track it would really help. Best of all its close to the restaurant and bathrooms that would just have to be made fully accessible. Talk about a great opportunity as it would definitely make life easier when attending a race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Laps 4 MD supporter Kevin Poitras
 After we found a place to view the track we watched a bit of the Pirelli World Challenge GT Class race. Eventually we made our way to the Canadian Tire Action Zone where Canada's Best Racing Team was set up. It was great to see their booth was a very active place to be thanks to the girls from Backwoods Productions Inc. This was also the first weekend when Canada's Best Racing Team introduced their #WeAreRacers hats which look awesome. When it comes to Laps 4 MD I am so happy to be working with Canada's Best Racing Team, who is very active on social media and loves interacting with their fans. The pink race car Erica Thiering was driving sure gained a lot of attention over the weekend and I must admit it looked pretty good on track. Joey McColm was driving the Toronto Maple Leafs car which also is a huge hit with fans. Being a team that is greatly supported by fans it keeps all the drivers from Canada's Best Racing Team very busy. I would have liked to meet Erica and Kevin Poitras over the weekend but they were constantly surrounded by fans. Which is great, now I did say hello to Joey but he was busy interacting with fans so I just let him be. After all I didn't want to get in the way.

In the end I had a great time and enjoyed my weekend spent at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Sure it was a little challenging and maybe I shouldn't have pushed myself so far physically, but in a way it was worth it. After all the support of Laps 4 MD by the racing community has been amazing. Sure I may have to enjoy what I like to call a few "Weak Days" after the race but I really enjoyed getting to meet a few supporters of Laps 4 MD, including our friend Steven Richardson and our friends over at Now I was hoping to meet up with Laps 4 MD supporter Matt Garwood but our paths never crossed.
Team Brad - Durham Region Walk for Muscular Dystrophy
 Well after a long and physically demanding few days it is time for me to rest and take it easy as next weekend I will be joining the 2015 Durham Region Walk for Muscular Dystrophy. A community event when family and friends join in support of those they know who are living with Muscular Dystrophy. If you are reading this post and would like to join it takes place on May 24th at Heydenshore Park in Whitby, Ontario at 10am.

Please enjoy a few pics from the track below
Photo by Steven Richardson

Photo By Steven Richardson
Photo by Steven Richardson

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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Welcome to the My Becker's Story blog!

Welcome to the My Becker's Story blog!

Join me as I share my Becker Muscular Dystrophy Story.

My name is Brad Miller I am a freelance journalist living with Becker Muscular Dystrophy, a condition which limits my ability to walk and gets progressively worse over time. I created the My Becker's Story blog in 2010 to share my story and to help raise awareness about Muscular Dystrophy. Along with sharing my story I also raise awareness about accessibility and the issues people with disabilities face. When it comes to the My Becker's Story blog even though the focus is on Becker's Muscular Dystrophy I also want to encourage those affected by other conditions even other forms of Muscular Dystrophy to join in as well. I truly believe when we join "Together" we can make a difference in our communities and raise even more awareness about Muscular Dystrophy and the issues people with disabilities face. The main focus behind the My Becker’s Story blog is to tell my story in hopes that it will somehow help those living with Becker’s Muscular Dystrophy, as well as their families and friends.

What people are saying about the My Becker's Story blog:

"Hi there, I also suffer from BMD. Just read the blog and the first half is like reading my personal history!!"

"I ran across your spot today, you sure have a lot on here I will have to check in a lot. I also have BMD and everything you say resonates deeply."

"I am also in my mid-30's with Becker's from the UK so thought i'd join and say hello! Struggling with all the same things as mentioned in the blog!"

"I am new to this group. Just want to say it is nice to meet people who understand."

 "I love your blog and it is nice to know there are others out there facing the same challenges as I do each and every day."

If you would like to read my personal story about growing up with Becker Muscular Dystrophy please click on the image below.

When it comes to living with Becker's Muscular Dystrophy I intend to take what I have been through in my life and some how use it to help those going through a similar situation. When it comes down to it the main idea behind My Becker’s Story is to help those like me who are living with Becker’s Muscular Dystrophy, by creating a place for us to connect. I truly believe that we are in this "Together". And I believe that with every one’s help that together we can help raise awareness about Muscular Dystrophy around the world.

The Walk for Muscular Dystrophy

Team Brad at the 2013 Durham Region Walk for Muscular Dystrophy

 Along with sharing my story I also aim to make a difference in my community. Since 2010 my friends and family have joined "Team Brad" in support of my efforts to raise funds that benefit people like me who are living with Muscular Dystrophy. The Durham Region Walk supports Muscular Dystrophy Canada’s mission to enhance the lives of those affected by neuromuscular disorders. To learn more please (Click Here)

Thank you for visiting the My Becker's Story blog!

Join the My Becker's Story blog on social media

Monday, May 4, 2015

Nothing beats the convenience of a dishwasher

Portable Dishwasher
When it comes to life savers around the home nothing beats having a dishwasher. It truly removes the need to wash dishes by hand, which can be challenging for anyone living with physical limitations. I know their benefit all too well especially since my portable dishwasher recently broke and couldn't be repaired. So it's back to the physically demanding task of washing dishes by hand. One thing I have become very familiar with lately is muscle fatigue & weakness in my hands and arms from having to wash dishes. It truly shocking how fast a small sink can fill with dishes in just one day. To many people washing dishes by hand is no problem but with Muscular Dystrophy there is a price to pay. Thinking back my old portable dishwasher was a real life saver and now that it's gone life just isn't the same. Now I have thought of switching to paper plates, plastic disposable cups & even plastic cutlery but that's not good for the environment. They say you don't appreciate what you have until it's gone and the pain in my arms and hands helps to remind how much I really miss my old dishwasher. At this point there is simply nothing I can do so I am stuck washing dishes by hand for at least the next little while. I guess I will just have to make due until I run into some extra money. All I can hope for now is quick win of $500 in the lottery. Now if you are lucky enough to have a dishwasher I hope you really appreciate how easy it ends up making your life.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Sometimes you have to give people the finger, or do you?

Well here we go again yet another posting about the issues of stupidity I face when ever I use accessible parking. Today I was parked in an accessible parking space which I am legally allowed to do with my parking permit. At the time I had my windows down and all of  a sudden a car passing behind me stopped. Next thing you know the driver starts yelling out do you have an accessible parking permit? At first I ignored them because I don't think stupid questions even deserve an answer. Then they yelled out another time so I gave them the finger, ok I really just gave them the thumbs up. This was to signify yes - I have an accessible parking permit. My response seemed to leave them confused so they asked again for the third time. Eventually they clued in and drove off and parked in another accessible parking space. 

Like many of you who may have faced this type of ignorance before I can no longer hold back when it comes to this kind of stupidity. You see these types of people see a young person and automatically assume that you can't possibly have a disability. The fact that they would even assume I would park illegally in an accessible parking space infuriates me. How nice of them to see me and automatically assume that I must be an inconsiderate jerk. To be honest there stupidity shocked me especially when I happened to be parked at a facility that police officer frequent on a regular basis. In fact at the time there were actually five police cars parked pretty much directly behind me. Each officer saw me parked there on their way into the building and they didn't say a word. Now I know what some of you might be thinking and no I wasn't at a doughnut shop. So after these people parked in another accessible space an older man exited the vehicle from the passenger side and walked briskly into building. So a few minutes later what do I see? A security guard walking towards my car, looking directly my way. I guess at one point he must have seen that I had a valid permit displayed so he quickly made his way back inside. It's obvious to me that the man who exited the car earlier must have complained. I have to tell you I am fed up with the stupidity of other accessible parking permit holders. The second some of them can't find an open space they seem to be surprised that their not the only one with some form of disability. Believe me there have been many times when I haven't been able to find a space and I dealt with it by parking somewhere else. Now sure when it comes to those in accessible vans that's not an option. But today that wasn't the case. They were driving a car just like me.

After today I think people like this need to understand that accessible parking permits don't give you the right to question and harass people who find accessible parking before you do. You have to understand there are only a limited number of spaces available. If you can't find one that is no one's problem but your own. In the end do us all a favor and mind your business and move along.

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