Wednesday, February 8, 2023 - 4 to 8 p.m.
Half Brothers Brewery, Grand Forks
PHOTOS: Francine's benefit (Feb. 8, 2023)
Image of Francine McClendon Benefit poster near NDAD's Grand Forks entrance
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EVENT: Francine McClendon Benefit (HELD Feb. 8)
LOCATION: Half Brothers Brewery, Grand Forks
The lifetime of a power wheelchair is about 6 years. It had been 10 years for Francine McClendon.
The longtime Grand Forks resident has dealt with severe rheumatoid arthritis since age 7 and now deals with other health conditions as aging takes its toll.
Having relied on power mobility for about a quarter century, Francine needs a new chair, one with specialized power functions that will assist her with activities of daily living, provide pain relief, and improve the quality of her life.
The chair's power elevate function will allow Francine to reach counters and shelves plus provide safety in transfers from her chair. The power tilt feature will help keep pressure off her spine and neck and help Francine keep her neck and head supported in a better position, which will provide much needed pain relief.
Still, insurance would not cover the wheelchair she requires.
Recognizing these inequities and wanting to help Francine obtain the chair she needs, Dr. Jane Loscheider, an occupational therapist specializing in assistive technology, partnered with charitable nonprofit NDAD to raise the necessary funds through the charity's free Community Fundraisers Program. Following the benefit, money raised ultimately was used to modify and retrofit a wheelchair for Francine's use.
Francine is a graduate of UND who studied English, Spanish, and social work. A writer, she recently published her first book, a book of poetry. She is working on another book about her journey with Rudy, her beloved assistance dog who passed away in 2021.
More about the fundraiser