James Regehr:

   I have quite severe arthritis in both my legs so I need assistance while walking so I can’t walk very far at all so I need a wheelchair or scooter or something if I am going “out” anywhere and sometimes I even need to use a wheelchair while at home.
    Roughly 8 years ago or so a small region in my brain “went dark”.  It stopped sending and receiving neural activity.  This resulted in a whole lot of changes including my brain's ability to regulate my sleep patterns.  When I was able to sleep, I began having extremely vivid and terrible nightmares.  It effected my ability to concentrate.  It effected my short term memory.  I began having speech impediments where I would not be able to get my words out.  It effected my social skills and I suddenly found it almost impossible to talk if there was too much distraction.  It effected my motivation level.  It effected my sense of taste - things just didn't taste the same anymore and foods that I used to really enjoy suddenly tasted like sawdust.  It also effected my brain's ability to regulate my emotions.  I lost all my “happy” and positive emotions and always felt an overwhelming sense of sadness.  I began having episodes where all of the sudden and for no reason, I began crying uncontrollably. I began experiencing extreme tremor episodes.  ... and more …  
    Things got so bad about 7 years ago that I became completely debilitated.  I couldn’t walk, talk, write, or communicate at all … but I was fully alert and aware inside … it was a very scary experience. … the worst of my condition like the only lasted a few weeks and then I started getting my ability to communicate back and some of my mobility. 



    I was partnered with a service dog about 6 years ago.  She is a pure bred, registered, brown coloured Newfoundland.  She assists me with balance while walking.  She also alerts me before tremor episodes start so I have time to find a “safe place” to go to ride it out … She provides “attendance” and calming during tremor episodes.  She wakes me when I have nightmares.  She also helps me when my emotions are going weird … and provides companionship when I can’t sleep, etc.
    It has only been with the unwavering love and support of my wife and children (who are now grown), my doctors, my service dog and of course God … that I have been able to keep going.  

    The brain specialist, that my family doctor had referred me to, explained all of this to me and told me that this a permanent condition for me.  There is no cure.  



    In addition to these health issues, in February of 2019, I experienced Atrial Fibrillation, (heart failure).  I was in the hospital for over a week receiving treatment.  My doctors have told me that it will be a long road to recovery.  At present, my heart is functioning only at about 30% strength so I need a lot of rest.


    Again, in addition to my medical treatment, I continue to have the unwavering love and support of my wife and grown children along with my service dog and , of course, God!  Extended family and friends have also been of encouragement and support during this time!




BettyAnn & James



    I have been unable to work since I got sick and I still don’t have enough “good days” to hold down an actual “job”.  Also, my wife has Multiple Sclerosis and can’t work either - so we are on provincial disability and live in wheelchair friendly government housing.  We also have a 22 year old daughter who is Autistic and a 20 year old son who has a very severe form of Irritable Bowel Syndrome - severe enough that it prevents him from pursuing any kind of career training or work of any kind … We also have a 24 year old son who is “normal” and independent.

 

   Crafting our bison horn shofars and vuvuzelas has become a family effort.  Each member of my family participates in the crafting process in one way or another. 


    When you purchase our products, you help support our family.  You will be helping make it possible for us to purchase the medical equipment that we need as well as other things.  Right now, I am in need of a special wheelchair so that is the first thing we will be needing to purchase with money from the sale of our products.