It’s not easy picking up groceries with oven mitts on, let alone doing it in a wheelchair.
Seventeen teams took part in an obstacle course set up inside O’Regan’s Toyota in Dartmouth yesterday for the Rick Hansen Wheels in Motion event.
The obstacle course was designed to show able-bodied people just how tricky everyday chores can be for the disabled. The oven mitts were added because many people in wheel chairs have trouble with dexterity.
“It’s a fun event but it also raises a level of awareness of how difficult it is to go get groceries, for instance,” said Kevin Murphy with the Rick Hansen Institute.
Murphy, from Dartmouth, was 14 when a hockey injury landed him in a wheelchair. He met Rick Hansen the next year but didn’t truly understand Hansen’s efforts until about a decade later.
“I really understood what he did and sacrificed for five years of his life for people living with spinal cord injuries,” Murphy said.
There are similar events happening around the province and organizers hope to raise $50,000.
Over half of the money stays in the province buying new wheelchairs, repairs, and home renovations. It also pays for specialized training programs and adapted sports like wheelchair curling
“Active living is important to anybody, whether you have a spinal cord injury or not. The challenge is when you have a spinal cord injury to go out to take a stroll or participate in hockey or sailing. It takes a little more time, energy and expense,” Murphy said.