Monday, February 14, 2011

Traveling with a Disability

Cheryl in Turkey

My wife Cheryl and I love travel both within the U.S. and outside of the country. Traveling for us is complicated by the fact that Cheryl has a hereditary neuropathy condition called CMT (or Charcot Marie Tooth disease). It is closely related to muscular dystrophy and the Muscular Dystrophy Association (The MDA with Jerry Lewis) has it under its umbrella of covered conditions.

The impact of this condition is that the muscles in Cheryl’s feet and lower legs don’t receive the impulses from her nerves and now her hands are being affected as well. Cheryl can’t walk very far without exhausting herself and even a visit to a museum can be more than she can walk.

We’ve been using a wheelchair more and more and it has become a standard piece of equipment for our travels. One of the amazing things about our country is that we have the Americans with Disability Act (the ADA) and it creates a lot of accessible options to get around the country and all the buildings and landmarks here. Not surprisingly, the ADA doesn’t extend outside of America and accessibility in other countries is greatly varied.

We don’t let this stop us from doing crazy trips like going to India or Turkey or anywhere we want to go. We just take it as a challenge and an opportunity to bond even closer.

Our travels caught the attention of a group that supports people with my wife’s condition and they decided to write an article about us and traveling with a disability.

This is the link to the article entitled “Profile in Courage”. If you would like to read the whole article (you currently have to be a member to read it on the HNF site), just send me an email and I’ll send you a .pdf of the whole article.

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