Brad Gabrielson is a resident of Jamestown, North Dakota, who was born with Cerebral Palsy. Although he needs to use a wheelchair to move around, he does not let a disability prevent him from living a full life. He is an advocate in society for people with disabilities and enjoys mentoring other people with disabilities to help them find their strengths and overcome perceived weaknesses. Brad has two adult children with his life-long partner Polly Neumiller. When Polly passed away unexpectedly in the fall of 2015 from complications of a brain aneurysm, the family was devastated as she was the backbone of the family. Brad knew he wanted to something special in her memory. He has set out on a mission to donate a portable wheelchair ramp to one needy individual in each of the 50 states and Puerto Rico. Recipients of the ramps will be chosen through a nomination and application process.
Roll-A-Ramp is a manufacturing company based in West Fargo, North Dakota; and Brad helped the company get its start in the disability market. When the company was in the start-up phase, the ramp design was heavier and not easily portable. Brad met company reps at a trade show; he thought it was cool and suggested, “If you make this ramp lighter and easier to use, you’d really have something useful for wheelchair users link me!” Since then, Brad has worked with Roll-A-Ramp by promoting the product and being in videos. Roll-A-Ramp is helping Brad on his mission with staff volunteering their time to assist with planning and promotion. Roll-A-Ramp is also donating a ramp for each location.
Brad likes share his philosophy on life with others: “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift.”
With a large scale project like this comes many expenses, yet Brad hopes to raise enough money for travel expenses so he can present the ramps in person. Because he is unable to drive due to physical limitations, he needs a caregiver to travel with him and the estimated cost per trip is about $3000. Brad is seeking financial and in-kind donors to help him with his mission to “Pay it Forward” in memory of the love and kindness Polly gave to everyone she knew.