When you think about it, in some ways, using a wheelchair isn’t all that different from using a car. Just like a car gets dirty when it’s outside and dealing with salt and slush and rain and dirt, my wheelchair does, too. Except there’s no equivalent of a car wash for me to take my wheelchair to when it gets too dirty. So honestly… I usually just ignore it! I can’t see it, so it doesn’t bother me. I did have my parents help wash it last year before the pageant, but that may have been the first time that chair ever got washed (much to my dad’s chagrin, and constant nagging about it!).
My current wheelchair is less than a year old, so it’s still (relatively) clean. But when I saw a Facebook event for a Wheelchair Wash and Tune Up at UPMC Mercy, I knew that I had to check it out! It did not disappoint. When I got there, I was so impressed – the turnout was amazing, and there were also so many volunteers! I didn’t even have to wait five minutes before a whole group was ready to start washing my wheelchair. They did such an incredible job and my wheelchair looks so shiny and like-new!
They also had someone on site to do minor wheelchair repairs, so I was able to get some screws tightened that had been really annoying me. Plus, they had tables from other disability organizations set up, free food, and lots of tables for people to sit and chat and get to know each other. I can’t wait to go back next year… especially since it’s likely that my wheelchair will not be washed again before then!