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Widow of Grand Traverse County Veteran Donates Special Wheelchair To Reining Liberty In His Memory

Promo Image: Widow of Grand Traverse County Veteran Donates Special Wheelchair To Reining Liberty In His Memory

A special gift delivered Friday to make what seemed impossible, possible for disabled veterans.

It’s called an Action Trackstander and costs around $18,000.

The all-terrain wheelchair that can also raise its rider to stand.

A life changing tool donated to Reining Liberty in Traverse City today.

It’s the story behind this gift that one widow hopes will inspire other veterans to stand tall.

9&10’s Megan Woods has more details.

“He was determined not to let PTSD define his life and it didn’t.”

Caroline Kulczyk’s husband Jim was a Vietnam Veteran.

Reflecting, she says, “He was content and we were just so content and happy in our life and then when he became a paraplegic in December because the service connect disability he couldn’t garden.”

And because he was determined more than 60 % disabled by the VA he was eligible for this chair through the non-profit group The Independence Fund.

Caroline says, “He was able to stand up and hug me face to face and we just connected all along the front of our body and just held each other.”

Jim passed in September 2016, but it was the experience with the chair Caroline wanted to share with others at Reining Liberty Ranch.

A place that serves veterans through therapy with horses.

Executive director of Reining Liberty, Becki Bigelow says, “I don’t ever want to exclude someone who just couldn’t walk or couldn’t walk very far so this opens a whole new door of service.”

For the veterans that use this it’s more than just a wheelchair but freedom to do things they could no longer do.

Retired Marine David Miller says, “Just being able to not talk to someone like this and look them eye to eye, being able to hug your wife again, you can’t describe it it’s amazing.”

With Jim’s name still on the back of the chair they’re hoping it will take anyone who uses it to new heights.

Bigelow says, “It was through her graciousness that we got the opportunity to have the chair and in doing so we will serve and continue the heart of not only Caroline, but her husband.”

Caroline says, “I just want people that are in the chair to not to give up and just keep going.”

Before veterans can use the chair, Reining Liberty plans to take weeks to make sure their horses are comfortable with the chair.

For more information about similar chairs in Michigan click .