Photo by Lorie Palmer
Tom McAdow sits in his new indoor wheelchair while showing his new all-terrain chair.
As of Tuesday, October 6, 2015
GRANGEVILLE Tom McAdow is now double trouble.
“Or hell on wheels,” he laughed.
After a nearly year-long fund-raising effort spearheaded by Irwin Drug owner Chad Jungert, McAdow was able to not only purchase an all-terrain wheelchair, but also a thinner-wheeled, indoor chair he is able to navigate easily inside.
“I am really thankful to this community and for all they have done to help me,” McAdow said.
As discussed in an October 2014 Free Press article, the original plan was for McAdow to obtain a Renegade, a specialized all-terrain chair meant to “go anywhere,” he said. However, that company went out of business and he had to find another option. Because the all-terrain chair he got – complete with mountain bike tires, a way to strap his feet in and aired lower tires – was less expensive than the first chair he looked at, he was able to get two.
“I’m 6’-4” and I had my other chair for seven, eight years and I had really used it and outgrown it,” he said. “Having these two new chairs is such a blessing.”
When McAdow was 15 in 2007, he was injured in a four-wheel accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down.
McAdow loves to hunt and fish and recently tagged his first elk since his accident.
“I – with the help of friends – rolled in two and one-half miles and then we had to pack it out that far,” he said. “I was so tired the next day. And wouldn’t you know it? That was the day my new all-terrain chair came. I was thinking, ‘why couldn’t you have come one day earlier?” I was so sore from wheeling my old chair. It was a lot of work.”
McAdow has been working for the Forest Service in a warehouse during the peak of area fires and, though he said the money has been good, he is looking forward to some time off from his seasonal job so he can try out his new thick-wheeled chair.
“I am really anxious to get out there and see what it can do,” he smiled.