My name is Leigh, and I'm a 30 year old disabled Canadian trans man.
I've had back pain my entire life. It was always made out to be normal, because 'everyone has back pain'. I've never been able to sleep on my back, despite it supposedly being better for your back. As it turns out there were several significant explanations for why I was hurting so much.
I have 15 degree scoliosis in my lower back due to my right leg being 2cm shorter than my left. This has been well managed in the last year by my custom orthotic shoe inserts, without which I would no longer be able to walk for the soul-crushing back pain this discrepancy was causing.
However, I also have a 15 degree curve in my thoracic spine, arthritis in my hips, knees, and feet, very weak knee joints due to repeated sprains, and iliosacral dysfunction due to several very hard falls and strains in my old job as a veterinary technician, and in my brief stint in Roller Derby.
Additionally, my cervical spine has an inverted curve, and I have degenerative disc disease in my lower back, as well as frequent muscle spasms throughout my back and neck.
All together this has led to my daily life being anywhere from mildly to severely painful, and standing/walking for any extended period is painful and exhausting. I've been using a cane fairly regularly for the last year, which has helped insofar as making myself visible and encouraging people to let me sit in the bus and metro (this doesn't always work though). I got a rollator used on Kijiji for $50, which helped significantly but is still not enough since walking is still painful and exhausting, and the rollator is heavy and difficult to heave onto a bus (drivers rarely lower the wheelchair ramp for a rollator wielded by someone my age), and few metro stations have elevators so I have to cart it up and down stairs anyway.
Due to all this, I bought a used wheelchair for $200 on Kijiji, which was almost the perfect solution. Having the chair helped my back and let me go about my day without pain. But, unfortunately, the chair is too small and not at all outfitted for Canadian winters. To bring the chair up to speed would cost more than buying a new chair, and that's obviously not a practical solution considering the size issue cannot be fixed.
Yesterday, I got a full price quote for a custom chair from Maison Andre Viger Verdun for a Motion Composites Apex with a Freewheel attachment. This chair would cost $4290, plus $700 for the Freewheel. This chair would be tailored to fit me, outfitted for Canadian winters, AND weigh only 10lb. This would be the perfect solution for my needs.
If you can, I would dearly appreciate the help with acquiring this much needed mobility aid. My pain will make my new university career at Concordia very difficult, and I want to be able to dedicate all my energy to my goal of becoming an occupational therapist or social worker for disabled kids at the Mackay Center in Montreal. If you can't donate, please share this everywhere you can as I desperately need this chair.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask and I'll do my best to clarify in updates.