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Making Life More Accessible — National MS Society


After a long search in the Hunterdon County rental market, in February 2014 Hope found suitable housing with 3 bedrooms for her and her 5 year old daughter and her mother. After the 3 generations of the family settled into the apartment, it became obvious that the stairs were going to be difficult for her mother whose MS was progressing. Hope reached out to the Chapter for guidance in making her mother’s daily activities much easier. After much discussion, she realized that a stair lift would be of great assistance to Wanda (Hope’s mother) as she navigated to and from the 2nd floor of an apartment in the two family home. With little financial support, Hope and Wanda didn’t think it was possible to get a stair lift installed in their residence, a solution that would cost over five thousand dollars.

At the same time that Hope was looking for information about a stairlift, the Chapter received a call from Dennis Gaynor, a representative of Handi-Lift, a provider of accessibility equipment for homes and commercial buildings in New Jersey and New York. Handi-Lift’s mission of accessibility with dignity has been guiding the company since 1975. Dennis explained that Handi- Lift wanted to give back to the community by helping a family in need by furnishing and installing a well-deserved Stannah stairlift. The Chapter was happy to bring these parties together to make life easier for Wanda. Hope and Wanda are thrilled! Wanda says, We are forever thankful for making such a huge impact on our lives. “ Hope continues, This was a huge struggle for my mom, and now she can move freely up and down the stairs.”

Handi-Lift is grateful to the Chapter for identifying an appropriate person with an immediate need for a stairlift. James Boydston, the owner of Handi-Lift explained that, Once the connection was made with a user in need, everything just worked out so smoothly. It was such a blessing to see the smile on Wanda’s face upon her taking the first ride up the stairs.”

The entire process took less than a month to accomplish. After communicating a vision of assisting a NMSS client, the home was surveyed, the stairs were measured, the lift was ordered, and in one morning it was installed and handed over to Wanda. A great ending for all involved!

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Luke Lesniowski

Luke is the Sales Manager at Handi-Lift. He has over 15 years of experience in construction sales and sales management. Luke has a Masters degree in Integrated Marketing and Communication.

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