Anna Magnuson

Anna Magnuson
NDAD and Anna Magnuson have been personally acquainted for at least several years.

“I’m very thankful we have a place like (NDAD) in town,” said Anna, a lifelong resident of Grand Forks, home to NDAD’s main office. “I’ve received help and guidance in many different aspects and ways.“
 
Anna has cerebral palsy.  She and her family knew since her childhood of NDAD’s charitable service to people with disabilities.  They never thought of using NDAD, though, “until our van went on the fritz a couple of times,” Anna recalled, chuckling.

Several years ago, the Magnusons came to NDAD when their own accessible van’s wheelchair ramp wasn’t working correctly. To get by until it was corrected, Anna said, the family borrowed one of NDAD’s two accessible vans in Grand Forks for several scheduled trips, including a Fargo medical appointment. Borrowing the van “worked out really well,” Anna recalled.
 
Anna Magnuson with Eadynn, one of her service dogs.
When Anna had surgery in May 2016 and couldn’t be lifted easily during convalescence, she borrowed durable medical equipment at no cost from NDAD’s Healthcare Equipment Loan Program (HELP) to help keep the Magnuson house accessible for her.
 
Then, in 2018, Anna obtained a replacement power wheelchair through insurance.  With money provided mostly by NDAD, she added wheelchair equipment that allowed for additional adjustments, which improved her access to more of her surroundings, while still maintaining stability.
 
In turn, it reduced her need for assistance from her service dog or a reacher grabber tool, Anna said. Insurance would not cover the additional equipment, which made NDAD’s contribution that much more valuable, she said.  She was able to order the chair in June and received it in July.
 
“I’m very thankful,” she said, “because, without (NDAD’s) help, I don’t think I would have been able” to afford the adjustment.
 
“It’s a big deal because Eadynn can pick up things off the floor and low shelves,” Anna said, referring to her golden retriever service dog.  “But for higher things. . . . it’s nice to not have to ask for help quite as much.

“I’m able to be so much more independent to reach things I couldn’t reach before,” Anna said. “So I’m very grateful. I knew it would be a big help, but I didn’t realize how much it would affect my life until after I started using it.”
 
Anna isn’t the only family member to have received help from NDAD. After having surgery, her grandmother borrowed a bed rail through the charity’s HELP program that enabled her to get in and out of bed more easily.
 
Anna is particularly pleased to deal with NDAD’s Grand Forks client services representative, Lora Machart.  “She is great to work with,” Anna said.
 
Eadynn is one of Anna's three dogs.
Anna lives with her parents, Steve and Kristi, and also has an older brother, Christopher.

Published January 2019.