June 25 - Jessie Ravnsborg

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Today, we are featuring Jessie Ravnsborg’s Making it Possible story for day 25 of ALS Awareness Month.

Mobility and independence have been priorities for me since my diagnosis with ALS over a year ago.  Receiving a power wheelchair, on loan, from the ALS Society of Alberta has provided me with many opportunities to get out and continue to live my life as fully as possible.

Off the cuff, I mentioned to my mom that I wanted to pet a horse. Well, she took that idea and ran with it and I got to meet a 27-year-old horse named Chase. What an amazing experience.  I’ll never forget looking into Chase’s eye and seeing myself in the reflection – so amazing!

I was still a little uncertain as I headed into the arena to meet Chase. The whole time I was in the arena, Chase was watching me. The equine therapist brought him to me and he stood right beside me as I sat in my wheelchair. I’m used to being 6 feet tall and to be beside such a large animal while in my wheelchair was slightly alarming but also comforting. As Chase got used to me, I just sat there and patted him.

I then took Chase for a walk around the arena. The first time he kept going too fast and almost cut me off.  After asking him to slow down and move over, he and I started moving right next to each other at the same speed around the arena. Each time we went around we got more in sync with each other. It was quite something for me to lead in a non-medical environment. This past year all my leading has been in regard to ALS and it was really nice to lead something that had nothing to do with ALS.

Chase became so familiar with me that he decided my wheelchair was going to be a snack for him. He tried to nibble on the metal back of my wheelchair, on my control joystick, on the legrest, and anything else he could get his mouth on – even my bangs were viewed as a tasty treat.

Thank you to the ALS Society of Alberta to help me maintain my mobility and independence through your equipment loan program.