Being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) can change your life in an instant. Kaylee Hallwachs from the Municipal District (MD) of Bonnyville says she remembers a life when she was an able-bodied lady.
“When I was diagnosed eight years ago with MS I was an able-bodied lady with a full-time career,” Hallwachs said. “I had just gotten married weeks before and my life shone brightly with promises ahead. I didn’t end up in a wheelchair straight away, I fought to keep what mobility I could. Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to fight a progressive disease.”
The transition from walking to being unable to walk wasn’t quick. Hallwachs struggled with a cane and then a walker before becoming fully wheelchair-bound three years ago.
“I can’t explain what that loss felt like. I felt like I had failed,” Hallwachs said. “That I had let down everyone around me and would now only be a burden.”
But through this entire awful progression, Hallwachs had a few shining lights, her family, her friends, and her animals.
“I remember when I first was unable to work. I would spend almost the entire day with my dogs outside,” Hallwachs said. “There is something so entirely healing about the fresh air and the connection to our land. Now my scooter is my legs. It helps me do chores and chase pigs. It allows me to feel useful. It gives me that hope that even though things are different I can still exist. I can still have worth.”
A few years ago Hallwachs poor overworked scooter stopped reversing. Since then it has successfully launched her twice off her ramp and steers like an incapacitated squirrel is driving.
“The loss of my scooter was the immediate loss of my mobility outside of the house,” Hallwachs said. “It sent me into a depth of darkness that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.”
And then an amazing thing happened. Hallwachs friend Savannah Luciak offered to run an auction to help raise funds for a new one.
“We never expected anything huge, at least I didn’t, but I was more than grateful, and honestly any amount would have helped get me closer to the goal of a new one,” Hallwachs said. “The type of scooter that I honestly need to get me around the farm is an all-terrain one. No mobility aid is inexpensive but these run around $7500. Savannah, and an incredible group of humans, donated, bid, and bought specially designed hoodies. And when that auction didn’t raise enough, she did it again!! In the end, they raised it all, and I was able to purchase it.”
A kind gesture by an amazing friend changed Hallwachs life.
“I will never be able to thank Savannah enough for seeing me. I won’t ever be able to express to those that made it possible how much they mean to me,” Hallwachs said. “They will have a space in my heart forever. I will always love them, and this community, for the rest of my days. I am beyond humbled. I want to thank them. Thank them for the insane showing of kindness and for giving me such a life-changing gift. I hope I get to adventure with all of them one day.”
Hallwachs would also like to thank everyone who bid on auction items and donated money to this lifechanging gift.