To experience true empathy and an understanding of another’s perspective, struggles, and motivations, you have to “walk a mile in their shoes,” as the idiom goes.

But what if walking is not an option?

The Team Jigger Foundation has partnered with MNP and is pleased to announce the return of the new and improved “Chair Aware”: a fundraiser aimed at identifying and understanding the obstacles and challenges mobility faces every day, now as a team. Event.

From May 30 to June 3, 2022, a team of up to four participants will experience an 8-hour glimpse into the lives of people with reduced mobility as they devote themselves to a wheelchair and try to spend the day as they are. normally would. Seemingly simple tasks, such as crossing the street to turn onto a sidewalk, picking up groceries, refueling a vehicle, or entering their workplace, can present a new level of complexity that would otherwise go unnoticed.

“The goal of Chair Aware is not to minimize or alleviate the personal and intimate challenges faced by people who live with mobility issues,” says Jason “Jigger” Lunn, founder of the Team Jigger Foundation. “The goal is to empower able-bodied people to experience a limitation that is part of our daily lives and to take that experience forward with them as they consider accessibility and inclusion issues in their future.”

Himself confined to a chair after a high-speed collision in 2011 that resulted in a STARS air ambulance ride and months of recovery, Lunn founded the Team Jigger Foundation to provide needed resources and bridge the gap between injury and rehabilitation.

“Our foundation works on three fronts,” says Lunn. “First, to raise awareness of accessibility issues and barriers in our community and throughout central Alberta. Second, to provide mentorship, resources and assistance to those born with or with a loss of mobility or function. And thirdly, to acquire specialized physiotherapy equipment that has been modified for paraplegics, quadriplegics, convalescents, patients with multiple sclerosis, people with balance or cardiovascular problems, amputees or degenerative conditions – you name it – we want to make sure they have access to equipment not normally available from a physiotherapist or hospital to help contribute to their physical and mental recovery and reach the peak of their adjusted capacity.

These pieces of equipment are not only rare, they are also expensive. That’s why Chair Aware participants will solicit donations in addition to experiencing the sometimes frustrating restrictions of a wheelchair.

Chair Aware’s goal is to raise enough money to fund the purchase of additional modified equipment for the Lacombe-based Team Jigger Foundation.

Attendees described their experience at last year’s event as enlightening, exhausting and at times frustrating. “Having to ask for help was humbling.” Remembers Melisa Milne from MNP. “I had to ask for help to transport my coffee from the staff kitchen to my office; A task I have done countless times, but that day was impossible to do on my own.

“We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be part of such a great event,” says Angela Law, both a member of the Team Jigger board of directors and a partner at MNP. “Almost everyone knows someone who has lost or diminished their mobility due to an accident or illness. We don’t all stop to think about the daily challenges and restrictions able-bodied people may take for granted. The work the Team Jigger Foundation is doing is something MNP can support, and we hope to make a huge difference in the lives of Central Albertans.”

Several members of the MNP team have re-committed to participating and will help with the organization and execution of this year’s event. Places will be limited, so those wishing to participate are encouraged to contact early.

“We were amazed by the support for last year’s event,” says Lunn, “and this year it’s going to be even better.

The Team Jigger Foundation President’s Outreach Event, in partnership with MNP, is taking place May 30-June 3 throughout central Alberta. Anyone interested in participating, donating or volunteering can visit or call (825) 640-8326 for details.

“We are thrilled to be part of this great event again,” adds Law.

The information in this article was provided by TeamJigger.