Like millions of Canadian women, Bonnie and her three older sisters have been affected by heart disease. As a part of their journey to better heart health, all 4 sisters agreed to participate in a 10km road race benefiting the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Signing up for the race was not only motivation for the sisters – they had a clear goal to reach in just 5 short weeks – they would also be raising money for a cause very near and dear to their hearts…forgive the pun.
While her sisters would be walking the 10km, Bonnie would be rolling beside them in her wheelchair. In May 1994, Bonnie was a passenger on a motorcycle when she was hit by a distracted driver. Every bone in her left leg was broken and the lower leg suffered significant skin loss. Several attempts to save her leg using tissue from her right leg were not successful. Almost 3 months to the day of her accident Bonnie made the decision to have her left leg amputated instead of risking further damage to her “good” right leg.
Bonnie was fitted with a prosthesis but she required a wheelchair for long distances. When she started training for the 10km road race Bonnie was using her old chair and she admits it wasn’t easy: “I used to train in the room at the back of my office and I couldn’t even get up the ramp when I started”. Once a week she would train with one of her sisters on the race route. When she started she could only do 1km on and 1 km off, alternating between propelling herself and getting a push from one of her sisters. But soon she was doing 3km on her own and then 5km.
It was around this time that one of Bonnie’s sisters suggested she get a “more sporty chair”. Bonnie’s response was “but I’m not sporty”. It wasn’t until she took her old chair in for repairs at a local dealer that she started to believe that you really don’t need to be sporty to benefit from a performance chair. The vendor knew that Bonnie would benefit from a lighter chair with more adjustability and suggested she trial the Helio C2.
Bonnie couldn’t believe the difference. The Helio was lighter, easier to propel and it made her feel more stable when “off roading” in the bush (Bonnie is also an avid hunter). And that ramp in her office? No longer a problem.
Bonnie completed her race training and lost 20 lbs. in the process. All four sisters finished the 10km race with flying colours. Speaking of flying colours, Bonnie quickly signed up for her next race…the Colour Run in Ottawa. 4 Sisters. 4 Hearts. 1 Cause. Rolling your way to a healthy lifestyle…priceless.
Thank you for sharing Your Story Bonnie