Acts of Kindness
Husband builds sick wife a rickshaw so that they can still go on their daily walks together
When Jan was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis she and her husband Rick had to put a stop to their daily morning walks that they enjoyed doing together. That is until Rick got an idea to help his sick wife get back out there again.
Cherie Gozon
09.19.22

Suffering from an illness is always heartbreaking and demoralizing in some ways. It’s mostly difficult if it impairs a part of your body that you rely on most of your daily activities. While there are other means to amend that – implants, prosthetics, and mobility aids – it takes some getting used to.

Unsplash - Jon Tyson
Source:
Unsplash - Jon Tyson

It is more heartbreaking if it is a loved one experiencing such a disease. We wish we could take their place instead, so they won’t have to suffer. Sadly, it doesn’t work that way, and the least we could do is be by their side to support and comfort them.

Unsplash - Josh Appel
Source:
Unsplash - Josh Appel

This man from Michigan thought of a way to give his wife the ability to enjoy an activity they often do together. He did not only think about it – he created it.

Long walks in the woods

Rick and Jan had a rollercoaster beginning (which you can read more about in Rick’s write-up on Love What Matters). But with all those trials they went through, one thing kept them together – taking long walks in the woods.

The couple often started their day with these walks to discuss their day’s plan and deal with whatever challenge was in front of them. It was one thing they both enjoyed as they got to face each problem.

Unsplash - Annie Spratt
Source:
Unsplash - Annie Spratt

However, they soon had to stop their morning walks when Rick observed that Jan was dragging her foot while walking, making it difficult for her each day. They consulted the doctor, and after some tests, she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

The dreaded effect of MS

MS has no definite cause, and its effects on our bodies are also very diverse. MS is when something triggers our central nervous system that damages our myelin. This layer protects the “wiring” of our nerves that sends signals to and from our brain. The most common effects of MS are tingling, numbness, fatigue, pain, memory loss, or paralysis.

Unsplash - Romain Virtuel
Source:
Unsplash - Romain Virtuel

Among all those, Jan had paralysis. It came slowly, then altogether, losing her ability to walk. It broke Rick’s heart to be unable to take those lovely morning walks with Jan. Until one day, he came up with a plan.

Rick’s rickshaw

Rick and Jan had a wood business, and it made sense to him to use their resources to find a way to let Jan enjoy long walks again. He once saw an old Chinese rickshaw on TV, and he thought it might be the perfect solution.

Pexels - Ryutaro Tsukata
Source:
Pexels - Ryutaro Tsukata

He worked right on it, ensuring it fitted Jan’s frame and supported her weight. His family – including Jan – thought it was a crazy idea, but they let him be because they knew Rick better. They were sure that he would do everything to make this work.

Unsplash - Egor Myznik
Source:
Unsplash - Egor Myznik

After working on it for a while, he finally completed his project and took Jan on its “maiden voyage.” It worked perfectly for them, and they enjoyed their morning walks again. This handmade project manifested Rick’s love for Jan, and to quote this beautiful line from his write-up:

“But in reality, it was not hard at all to pull her along… It didn’t solve every problem, but it sure did help one of them… I know as long as my legs are still strong enough to walk, Jan and I will still have those long walks in the woods.”

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By Cherie Gozon
[email protected]
Cherie Gozon is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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