Our very first Christmas Kindness Campaign raised funds for a quadrapelegic woman; Susan Shear. We partnered with the non-profit taking care of her, The link provides the article released by the non-profit. We raised the funds independently using her story and donations were directly sent to TASC. I have also attached the press release that was sent out.
“Do you believe in miracles,” was the historic question commentator Al Michaels used to describe the euphoria of the last five seconds of a hockey win. The youthful and inexperienced United States hockey team defeated the greatest and most powerful four-time defending Olympic gold medalists, the Soviet Union. Although that memorable event took place in Lake Placid, New York in 1980, miracles continue to occur to this very day.
Nearly 40 years later, a lovely woman who resides in Reseda, California was recently the recipient of kindness and generosity, and in her eyes a miracle.
Susan has been physically challenged her entire life. “When I was six-years-old, I was hit by a car, breaking many bones in my body,” says Susan. As a child, she did not let this accident stop her from attending school, and attempting to live a “normal life.”
“Around the time I was a young adult, I had a stroke. This affected the right (normal functioning) side of my brain, which caused weakness to the left side of my body. I could no longer stand with strength and confidence and falling became a routine. Since 2002 I have relied on a walker, and I now totally depend on the use of a power chair.”
Despite these challenges, Susan keeps active on a daily basis. She attends a variety of classes including, creative writing, Zumba and intermediate Spanish. Susan receives support services from TASC where we offer well-trained instructors to assist Susan with cooking, cleaning, medical appointments, hygiene, and other essential everyday needs. Unfortunately, Susan can no longer walk, let alone stand without assistance. Susan’s fading strength does not allow her to get in and out of bed without assistance from her instructors, or loving husband.
In recent months, her lift chair recliner broke, forcing Susan to sleep in her electric wheelchair in a reclining position. Exhausted both physically and mentally, she continued to wake with a smile to greet the day.
Nairy Ghazourian, founder and proud active member of The Avanti Woman, a new organization dedicated to empowering women to move forward personally and professionally through networking, mentoring and learning, happened to stumble upon a GoFundMe letter written by Susan.
Nairy immediately jumped into action to research the particulars of the letter, and performed perhaps what might be considered another modern-day miracle. Through The Avanti Woman, Nairy raised enough funds to purchase a new, state-of-the-art electric bed powered by remote control and an electric recliner lift chair.
This will allow Susan to be more independent, and better empowered to enter and exit the bed. A comfortable night’s slumber is now a reality.
Susan, her husband Joel and the entire TASC family, thank Nairy, and all the women who supported The Avanti Woman’s GoFundMe Campaign for their love and kindness toward Susan.
A very special thank you goes out to 46th District Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian for his continued support of TASC and individuals with developmental disabilities. We would also like to acknowledge Greg Naldzhyan from Daily Care, Inc. Medical Equipment & Supplies for providing a generous discount on the lift chair recliner, and Mattress World located in Canoga Park for giving a heartfelt discount on the electric bed. “Do you believe in miracles?” Susan does!
-Robert Zazula, TASC Quality Assurance Coordinator