Visitation reports - 2010
This has been one of our busiest years, unfortunately. Perhaps it was the good weather. We attended a total of 364 Visitations to 33 riders and helped 19 family members as well as making one vocational referral. Included in our Visitations were two follow-up "home visits" to one rider in Kamloops and one in Merritt.
We have also had downed riders referred to us by staff at both the Royal Columbian Hospital and the GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre. Within the medical community we are increasingly perceived as a credible support group.
We did more than just Visitations, though. We took some downed riders out for supper at our favourite restaurant (and supporter) the Davidson Pitt Stop Restaurant. For some, we took in hamburgers or pizzas when we visited them. While one rider was in hospital we went down to his union office to pick up medical forms for him to fill out for his coverage.
One rider we took to Deeley's Motorcycle Museum. Another rider we took shopping for boots and a visit to Deeley's Motorcycle Museum. Another we took some groceries to him as he had just returned home from hospital and had no transportation. We also took him around on errands to do grocery shopping and banking and helped him purchase a car and insurance. We provided a "hoodie" to a rider using a wheelchair which provides protection in the cold winter air and was donated by Amy of the Davidson Pitt Stop Restaurant.
Referred a family member for psychological help in such a way that it would be paid for. Suggested a form of treatment called "Mirror Therapy" (no drugs) to three amputee riders which has proven 85 % effective in dealing with phantom pain. We got one downed rider's car fixed so it was running again with time and parts donation from Clarke Hill Motors, in Coquitlam; the rider uses a wheelchair and his car is essential to him.
A downed rider's bike was transported to several Show 'N' Shines for competition and he won a trophy each time. Arranged with two institutions to use their bus to transport downed riders and other residents to some of our Show 'N' Shine functions. Delivered a downed rider's modified van to Kelowna for pick-up.
We provided food and to two downed riders in need. Provided employment and business start-up information to a downed rider in Alberta. Attended several seminars related to Visitations, support groups, and benefits and resources available to handicapped people. Attended several Team Meetings at GF Strong Centre and celebrated two birthdays. Paid for TV rentals in hospital. Recommended vocational testing for a downed rider through their lawyer so that it would be paid by insurance.
We had a number of downed riders in the Upper Fraser Valley (Mission, Abbotsford, Chilliwack) this year and this put a strain on our resources. However, as luck would have it, we gained a Visitation Volunteer who lives in Aldergrove and she handled those Visitations for us very well.
All this is possible due to our Visitation Volunteers. Kudos to them. Their dedication is unrivalled. We had formed three teams of two each and one team developed a new technique of meeting all of the downed riders at GF Strong at the same time. The group meetings went really well and gave the riders the opportunity to discuss things with each other. They were a hit with riders and volunteers alike.
We have a variable cross-section of Visitation Volunteers including the following (some overlaps) two women, three amputees, two wheelchair users and one stroke victim. We can relate to almost any injury. All of our Volunteers attended a brain injury seminar held at GF Strong; this was valuable to them as sometimes a downed rider has sustained a brain injury as well. Currently we are visiting two downed riders in wheelchairs and one with a stoke. Our work is ongoing.
We look forward to helping injured riders this year but hope that we will not be so busy.
Gary Richardson, Visitation Director
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