I'll never forget that phone call I received almost 16 years ago. "Julienne's in the hospital. She's paralyzed." My beautiful, charismatic, totally funny, actress friend who started a volunteer massage program for AIDS patients couldn't move her legs. And for quite a bit of the next year, I was her ride. I was the one who helped take her wheelchair apart, put it in the trunk of my car so she could get to her physical therapy appointments. It was also the start of my sewing custom bags for her that she could hang on the back of her wheelchairs.
This weekend is the ABILITIES EXPO at the Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 S. Figueroa St. Admission is free. On Friday, there was an article and video on Julienne in The Daily News about how a BraunAbility van changed her life. Julienne works for Ability Center, selling wheelchair accessible vans to people like her who want more mobility and independence in their lives.