Wheelie Important Fundraiser

When I discovered I no longer had any funding for my wheelchair (read more here), it was soul destroying. I felt that I’d wasted the $700 on the wheelchair scripting appointment. I don’t have a big income, & that’s close to what I earn in a month. I was devasted.

My close friends, many of whom are moderators for my Twitch channel & discord server, pointed out that my community members have been asking how they can help for years. That we’d been telling them it’s not something money would fix because I didn’t know what to order, as a wheelchair is specific to its user & I didn’t have a script.

But now I did.

We knew exactly what I needed to order, & had a fairly priced quote.

All that was missing was the money.

On the right is a custom carbon fibre, rigid frame wheelchair, on the left is Dragancaor’s broken, steel folding frame, generic wheelchair. Both are designed for someone who is the size of Dragancaor.
On the left is Dragancaor’s broken, steel folding frame, generic wheelchair, on the right is a custom carbon fibre, rigid frame wheelchair. Both are designed for someone who is the size of Dragancaor.

CookiesAreAKatherineFood told me that before I gave up, I had to give The Lair a chance to help.

So overnight on Thursday we came up with donation incentives & rewards, & I drew the type of wheelchair I was fitted for, & made infographics & images for social media.

On Friday night I went live on Twitch at my normal time & at 40 minutes into stream I started to explain the appointment & the fitting. The community had known it was booked but not when it was happening. I showed the Lair photographs of the proposed chair beside my current chair, answered questions, & explained how wheelchairs are designed around their specific user’s needs. When I mentioned the funding no longer existing, multiple viewers in chat asked how they could help – where they could donate & if they were allowed to tell other people & spread the word.

I shared the link to my KoFi profile, with the $14,000 AUD (~$9,000 USD) goal, & put infographics into my discord server breaking down the reasons for the cost.

After a 3 year battle, Dragan finally had a wheelchair fitting appointment with an OT!!
Unfortunately the funding they believed they had has fallen through.
This purpose-built wheelchair costs $14,000 AUD.
It means Dragan has independence & stops injuring their body with the broken temporary generic wheelchair they currently use.
Wheelchair cost breakdown (AUD):
Rigid frame with folding backrest $7,700
Safety, guards, handles, & footplates $1,700
Seat, backrest, & legs $1,400
Tools, assembly & delivery $1,000
Wheels, tyres, pushrims, brakes etc $2,200

I explained that because KoFi was instantly available in PayPal that I could enter into a payment plan with the wheelchair company as soon as we reached 20% of the goal, as that was the minimum deposit required to start the process, & it would be 10 weeks from ordering to receiving.

Immediately there was a $60 donation. “Let’s get you a new chair”

Then $50. “Wheels!!”

Then $100.

Then they broke me.

The next donation was $2,000. “Let me help get you started with this.”

While I was trying to remember how to breathe, & stop the tears, he realised that it had charged him in AUD not USD & the exchange rate meant he’d given less than he’d planned. So he followed up with another $2,000 AUD.

Later there was a $5,000 donation from the Fluffy Legion, a Twitch team who specialise in helping charities & good causes, that is run by a member of my community. They’ve also recently helped someone pay a very large vet bill for their assistance dog.

Donations ranged from $3 to $5,000 & all of them were just as incredible as each other. Every little bit added up to the whole… & suddenly the wheelchair I needed was 102% funded.

In less than 3 hours, the Lair had raised $14,000 AUD so that I could have a purpose-built wheelchair.

But the Lair weren’t done. As members in other timezones woke up & came to the stream, they also wanted to be able to contribute. Donations continued coming with messages that read, “Get that chair & a cake to celebrate” & “RGB wheeeeeeeels” & “Gotta start funding that jetpack now” & “Just a little bit extra (for some streamers or something) xx”

a screenshot of Dragancaor's Twitch stream, showing the moment the Lair had fully funded their new purpose-built wheelchair. Dragancaor is crying. Above the fundraiser progress bar is a floating message from a donator: "Get that chair & a cake to celebrate”
Moments after it fully funded, the Lair continued to make Dragancaor cry with overwhelm & happiness. And offered cake.

In the 48 hours since this, I have cried countless times from happiness, overwhelmed by the kindness. It is hard to believe that this chair is about to be a reality after such a long battle.

But we did it.

It’s happening.

& it’s all because of you.

Thank you!!

A list of the amazing & wonderful people who helped make this happen can be found here

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