Waterloo man with muscular dystrophy on his own to buy mobilty equipment
A Waterloo man says a gap in the province’s support system has left him having to ask friends, relatives and strangers for money so he can afford a device he needs to something most people take for granted.
Josh Kortleve has Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Over time, it has weakened his muscles to the point where he can no longer use his arms or legs.
Through the Ontario Disability Support Program, the province pays for him to have a ventilator and a wheelchair.
Other devices, like a shower chair and a lift, are not covered.
“If I do not have the shower chair, I do not shower. If I do not have the lift, I do not get out of bed,” Kortleve says.
Kortleve is currently renting a lift for $250 per month. He says he’s started raising money to try and purchase one which will be customized to his specific needs.
“Right now, I am fundraising for the fundamental right of getting out of bed in the morning,” he says.
The cost of a new lift can run up to $10,000. Kortleve says he doesn’t like asking people to help him cover its cost, but he doesn’t see any other options.
“That burden shouldn’t fall on them. It shouldn’t fall on me,” he says.
“We should share the burden, as a society.”