Participant stories:

Unexpected joys of gardening

Planting seeds of health and independence

When the phone rang in the middle of the day, I was happy to see M's name pop up on my screen.  I was especially happy to hear her laughing voice.  Early in the summer, she had decided to plant a container garden of vegetables in a way that she could access it from her wheelchair.  She used containers she had around the house and seeds and seedlings we shared to get started.  She nurtured the baby plants along with great pride, dreaming of what she might do with the harvest.  "I'll share the foods with others," she once mused.  Today, she was calling to tell me about the garden.

Her garden was at the top of her driveway, in front of her disused car.  Being in a wheelchair had made her dependent on transportation services and the goodwill of friends and family to get to appointments.  She felt frustrated by her lose of independence and inability to keep commitments, such as doctors' appointments, when her transportation fell through.  The car was a reminder that she once could get herself to these places.  On the day the phone rang, she had decided to give driving with her prosthetic a go.  And go she did!

With mirth, she shared that she could not get her foot to the brake and drove over the garden!   Not all of the plants died.   In fact the one pictured here is still growing peppers inside the house through the winter.  

Since then, she traded her car for one with more leg room, and got a disability driving assessment.  Caja raised over $600 for her to pay for the driving lessons she needs to become independent again.