HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – At 37 years old, one Mechanicsville man has already has endured more pain than most people do their entire lives, but there is no hint of suffering in his sunny disposition.
Ben Geisler has muscular dystrophy.
“I don’t let things bring me down because if you let it, then they will,” he says.
His determination to lead a normal life has paid off because doctors said he wasn’t going to live past 18. Now, he’s focusing his determination on getting his own wheelchair van.
Up to now, Geisler has been relying on GRTC’s CARE service, but says he’s had problems. The last time he was at a Richmond Flying Squirrels game, he says he waited there two hours after the game was over waiting for the van to come pick him up.
Gerry O’Neill with Resources for Independent Living, Inc. helps people with disabilities, and says his clients frustrations with CARE is growing stronger.
“Follow through, tardiness, forgotten appointments, stranded recipients. It’s been an ongoing issue for a long time,” he said.
Larry Hagan with GRTC Transit says he understands customers frustration, but says one factor is they they’ve over extended their services for years. That is, going above and beyond what’s requires with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Hagan says it has been too costly, so now, the Board is considering cutting back to only what’s required.
“There could be the possibility that at the end of all this, with all the operational improvements and looking at the service area, if we happen to be over extended for example, we could operate better for the customer,” Hagan said.
Regardless, Geisler is determined to get his own van by holding a yard sale Saturday. The van could cost up to $60,000, but says raising money with the yard sale is a start.
“I’m just going to keep on until I get one. Even if it takes years, I will keep on until I get one,” Geisler said.
Here are the details for the yard sale:
Saturday, Aug. 4
6:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
8195 Crestline Lane
If you can’t make it, click here to make a donation on Ben’s website.