Tom Turner's More Than 30 Years of Friendship
BraunAbility has been alongside Tom Turner longer than anyone else in his life, with the exception of his parents. For over 30 years he's relied on us for everything, whether camping in the Adirondacks or getting to his job as a deejay at his high school radio station or taking classes at his local community college.
When you've been such an integral part of someone's life, you can't help wanting to spend some time with that person and find out just what it is that makes you such a good team.
Born with Spina Bifida, Tom has no feeling beneath the belly button level. However, he's a strong man, using leg braces and a walker as his preferred method of mobility. He wasn't supposed to live past the age of four due to his condition, but he's alive and thrivingover 40 years later.
Tom first became friends with BraunAbility in 1977 when he purchased a lift for his 1978 Chevrolet van. The lift lasted over 20years and could probably have hung on a few more years, but Tom was ready for a change. Over the next ten years he used two BraunAbility lifts in the same van, and would have stayed on that path had his physical therapist not introduced him to the BraunAbility Entervan.
The year was 2007, and he immediately noticed the impact in his life. For one thing, since his mother was also using a wheelchair, the two of them could roll in and drive wherever they needed.
"We go to dinner all the time," said Tom. "We go to concerts. We go to the dirt races every Saturday night. With that van being so small, we can just pull right in, drop the ramp, and away we go."
Before he realized it, he was becoming a part-time BraunAbility salesman, answering people's questions about how he bought it, how he enjoyed it, and what the buying process was like. Tom answered honestly, saying how easy it is to use and how helpful everyone was in securing financing for the vehicle.
One memorable demonstration was to NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Brett Bodine, who thought his father could really use a van to help him get around. "I said, 'Brett, don't wait. If you think that there's a need for something like that, by all means, do your research."Though he couldn't say for sure, Tom is fairly certain Brett decided on an Entervan just like Tom's.
Today Tom is still a devoted BraunAbility ambassador. He volunteers his time at the Center for Disability Rights in Rochester, NY. "They are the disability cops," he laughed. Through the center, he helps advocate on behalf of people with disabilities, issues with public policy, and peaceful protests at county office buildings.
"Whenever there's a problem, they're right on top of it."
Thank you, Tom, for stepping up to share how BraunAbility has been another member of your family for the past three decades. We enjoy being along for the (almost) life-long ride!
Other Owner Stories:
- "Freedom" by Scott Drotar
- "Praise the Lowered?" Absolutely!
- 309,000 Miles of Reliability
- Active Quad Embraces Life
- Adam Gorlitsky
- Adventurous Customer Defies Their Handicap
- Antonio Dowels, Local Hero, Receives His Van
- A Rampvan for a Pharmacist and Her Service Dogs
- Barbara's New Rampvan: Taking Delivery
- Ben Trockman
- Braun's Favorite Newlywed Shares Spinal Rehab Experience
- BraunAbility Customer Wins All-Star Award
- BraunAbility Helps A Teacher Return to Class
- Bravo for Brian and his Spirit of Ability
- Christmas for a Hurting Family - A Wheelchair Van
- Convenience Makes a Comeback
- Driving Freedom For a BraunAbility Customer
- ESPN's Story "Picking Up Butch" Gets National Media Attention
- Family with Three Wheelchair Users Gets First Accessible Van
- First Entervan XT Owner is eXTra happy!
- Fishing and Wheelchair Vans
- Head Coach of Team USA Wheelchair Rugby Team Trusts BraunAbility
- Home On the Range and In a Tri-Wheeler
- Indiana Family Proud Owners of a Honda Entervan
- In the Company of Saints
- Jason Gerling, The Wheelchair Drummer: Part 1
- Jason Gerling, The Wheelchair Drummer: Part 2
- Jesse Billauer
- Josh Fugate's Owner Story
- Lacrosse Team Scores Big for a Deserving Family
- Life Happens Together, Just Ask Lauren Gross
- Meet Spirit of Ability Award Winner Barry Munro
- Mike Delancey
- Mother With a Disability Finds Hope in Two Disabled Sons
- My Road to Driving Independence
- Neural Prosthetics Got Her On Her Feet Again
- Paralyzed Coach Receives Wheelchair Van at Halftime
- Rachelle Chapman
- Respect Blue Spaces Winner Gives Camp Attitude a Boost
- Restoring Freedom For Loyal BraunAbility Customer
- Reveca Torres
- Robin Allen
- Sam Schmidt: Mobility Visionary and Real-Life Superman
- Sam Schmidt to Help Unveil New Hand and Foot-Free Corvette
- Spirit of Ability Winner Triumphs over SCI