Mike Vanderkooi has been on KPVI a number of times in the past few months. From our Volunteer spotlight back in March, we have followed Mike as the community rallied around to help him receive a Van to make his life easier. He would be very grateful if the community reached out to him again.
Mike explained that, “It’d be a miracle because when I’m very tired I sometimes just have to sit there, lie there for ten or fifteen minutes to get the energy.”
Meriann Forrest has worked with PizzaPie Café in Pocatello to organize a fundraiser to Help Mike get in and out of his house easier, Meriann is very grateful for a community willing to support this cause.
Meriann reiterated her love for the Gate City when she said that,” I love Pocatello. We have got such giving people in this community and really they’re the ones who have made this possible.”
I was with Mike as he got in and out of his house, with his Multiple Sclerosis; it’s a great challenge that can vary greatly day by day.
“I come down out of the van that Pocatello so graciously provided to me. Then I roll up a ramp that I had built in my garage. Then, when I get to the top of the landing I’ll open the door and drop down to my knees and I’ll walk on my knees over to the landing in my living room then after that I have to pull myself forward on my elbows so it’s like a roll-crawl in the Army, So, not very graceful,” Vanderkooi said.
The Goal of the Fundraiser is to provide Mike with a way to get in and out of his home without having to face this long, daily struggle that comes from changing the levels and making it more scooter and wheelchair accessible. It’s a challenge that Meriann hopes that he’ll never have to face again following the fundraiser.
“He should not; nobody should have to crawl into their house. Nobody should have to lay on the floor (sorry) I don’t want you to have to lie on the floor until you get the energy to crawl up on your wheelchair ever, ever again. So we’re going to make his life easier,” Forrest said.