Shon Cook Law

Shon Cook Law
The Good Witch of the Law!

Muskegon Area District Library

Muskegon Area District Library
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Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Wheelchair Barn in Muskegon - Giving the Gift of Mobility

Understanding is truly a part of being able to help others who have had or will experience some of the hurdles we face in life.  No matter our experience as a human, chances are someone else has experienced what we're facing and the reality is that people have the amazing ability to take care of each other with the collected knowledge and empathy we possess.  When it all comes together, miracles happen.

The Wheelchair Barn on Getty Street
If you read the first paragraph, and I hope you did....what's missing in there?  You'll see that there's not a single mention of money, because something's are much more important than cash, and somethings you can't pay a dime for to change it.  It comes down to compassion, caring and empathy for someone's situation.  Such is the story of Ron and Ryan Zok in Muskegon.

Ryan was diagnosed very young with Cerebral Palsy and has needed the help of a wheel chair since he was about 2.  Never a pair of guys to go around feeling sorry for themselves, the Zok's have done everything any other family does.  Ryan made his way thru high school a year ago and today he's taking classes at MCC and doing just fine.  He's as normal a guy as you'd ever imagine and takes particular delight at yelling "HEY OLD MAN" every time I see him at a hockey game.  You know how those young bucks like to tease the geezers.  All those times I have seen Ron and Ryan, one thing is for sure.  They are not only father and son, they are BFF's and have grown to be an inseparable pair.

One thing that's paramount to both Ron and Ryan is the need to give something back.  Back to the collective knowledge thing...over the years with Ryan's mobility issues, Ron has gotten pretty handy in the repair and maintenance of wheelchairs.  Got good enough at it in fact, that they figured if we can fix these things up and help others who also have a hard time getting around, we'll be making a dent in helping others.  Thus, The Wheelchair Barn was born.

Ryan's Graduation (he socked me for $20 bucks :)
This past week, word came to Ron and Ryan that Blair Aleszka had a need for a little easier way to get around as he's coping with ALS, Lou Gehrig's Disease, and it's getting harder and harder to get out of the house for Blair.  It all happened so fast, word got to Ron about the need, Ron got to me and a day later we were on our way with Ryan to deliver the electric chair.  What an overwhelming experience.  I sat down with Ron and Ryan before we took off with the chair and Blair and Jodi joined me at their home to talk about the impact this gift will have.  Take a listen!

Powerful.  "How do we take our situation and use it to the betterment of others?"  "How do we show others that they are not alone?"   "How do we take the compassion, kindness and desire to make a difference, and apply it with dignity purpose and no expectations for a return?"

All of the above is achieved when people stop talking about what they can do...and they actually do it.  A random kindness is all it takes to change a life, and acts like this take place every day in Muskegon because or people like Ron and Ryan Zok.  If you'd like to help, you can contact Ron at 231-730-1647.  Ron, Ryan, Blair and Jodi are all amazing people and I am greatly honored to have been able to help tell the story and make you aware of just how much good gets done in Muskegon because it's the right thing to do.  We have much to be proud of in our community.

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