Jessica has ocular myasthenia gravis, among other neurological conditions, which affect her ability to walk and she falls frequently. Previously she was an athlete, regularly running 5k’s, skiing, skating, and mountain climbing. But when she became sick, her life changed dramatically. Even with the support of an aid, simply walking the boardwalk like she used to with her rescued greyhounds wasn’t possible. “It used to bring me so much joy. Now I can’t even walk down the block. I missed it viscerally,” she said.

Jessica's husband uses the remote to control the scooter lift while removing the scooter from the back of their minivan.

The lift Jessica and her husband chose is remote controlled and easy for one person to operate.

Jessica wanted a scooter. She chose a four-wheeled model for extra stability and the capacity to travel over grass and handle small bumps. But, without a way to transport it, she would be limited in how she could use it. With help from a local vehicle modification company, Jessica and her husband found a lift for their minivan that was exactly what she wanted—no long, cumbersome ramps, no expensive modifications to the van’s floor height, and they could park in any parking space as long as there was enough room to drive the scooter up along the rear door. “It could not be easier, it’s all automatic and remote control,” Jessica said.

But Jessica’s budget was tight. She had worked in nonprofit advocacy all her life, spending the majority of her career running the largest shelter for battered women and children in Washington D.C. Now, receiving Social Security, Jessica explained, “I would not have been able to afford to pay what this would’ve cost me without PATF picking that up. It was outside our income.”

Jessica sits on her scooter on a boardwalk in front of a field of tall grasses with her head tilted back and her arms outstretched.

Jessica used to walk this boardwalk with her dogs. Now, she is able to traverse it again using her new scooter.

Jessica used a PATF Low-Interest Loan to purchase the scooter and lift in the spring of 2019. In addition to getting back to the boardwalk, she uses the scooter to continue her volunteer work traversing her neighborhood to register new voters, and to join her husband and grandson on “walks” around the block.

“Freedom, mobility, and gratitude. I’d say gratitude is probably the biggest thing. This scooter is a godsend. I’m really happy to have it.”


PATF does not charge any fees with its loans, and provides financing at 0% and 3.75% for the purchase of assistive technology to Pennsylvanians of all ages, all income levels, and all disabilities and health conditions. Learn more about how PATF can help you get the devices and services you want and apply for a loan.