Gary Edwards | NDAD

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Gary Edwards

Published: Monday, March 11, 2024
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Originally published October of 2022

GRAND FORKS - "Just feel trapped,” Gary Edwards told Lora Machart one day this spring.

NDAD’s Grand Forks client services representative knew our charity had helped the 65-year-old Edwards several times before, loaning him a wheelchair and later a scooter for use until he had purchased both with help from his medical insurance.

This time Gary, whose has diabetes, a partially amputated foot and difficulties moving great distances using a rollator, desired to make his new scooter even more useful by allowing him to use it at destinations away from his south Grand Forks residence. He wanted to add a scooter lift to his SUV, but he couldn’t afford its purchase on his own.

So, he turned to NDAD to apply for assistance.

The process wasn’t complicated at all, Gary said.

“Lora just sent me forms to fill out and I sent them back in,” he recalled. “It didn’t take long for her to contact me. She said, ‘Great news! We’re going to cover your scooter lift for you.’” Once again, Gary said with a satisfied smile, NDAD came through. For him, the scooter lift has been “a savior.”

“It’s slick,” he said. “It’s enabled me to go to the bank. To go to Hugo’s (supermarket) if I just need milk or something.”

Gary was especially grateful that he could drive himself and his scooter to the celebration of life for his brother Greg, who died in May.

“I was able to do all sorts of things (with) a lot more freedom,” he said. “And I felt like a real person, you know, where before I was just trapped, basically.”

NDAD helped Gary through its Direct Financial Assistance Program, which includes home and vehicle accessibility among its areas of support.

"Oh, I would recommend (NDAD) 100%,” he said. He recalled a recent example when he told neighbors “just how grateful I was to NDAD and what they’ve done for me.”