The advent of e-bike technology has opened many possibilities for those who have mobility challenges, but acquiring the specialized equipment needed for those who need it is expensive. 

A GoFundMe has been started by the caregiver and friend of a local man who was injured in a motor vehicle accident, to raise the $25,000 needed to purchase a specialized e-bike that allows quadriplegics to operate the device. 

On August 9, 2010, Dustin Fleischhaker was injured in a motor vehicle accident that crushed his C6 vertebrae, leaving him a quadriplegic with limited hand function. 

Over the past few years, he was able to rent and trial an e-bike that has hand controls for quadriplegics to operate the device. The capabilities of the bike returned his mobility and independence to him. 

Jesse Campbell-Lane, Dustin’s friend and personal caregiver, who started the GoFundMe, spoke about the opportunities provided by the device: 

“You can go trail riding; you can go for bike rides with family and walk your dogs and just generally get out in nature more, to places you wouldn’t be able to access normally”  

Fleischhaker’s occupational therapist recognized the value the e-bike has as a rehabilitative tool, being operated entirely with his hands and arms, which are a focus of his rehabilitation.  

Although the benefits were outlined, he was denied insurance coverage, which would help him purchase his own e-bike. 

“Not only did they not focus on the physical rehabilitation, but what it does for your mental health.’ said Fleischhaker, “I think that’s the biggest thing for me is what this bike does for my mental health and mental stability, and I think that gets ignored.”  

Fleischhaker said that the ability to become more independent again is crucial to recovery: 

“The mental health side of it is so large, and I think my friends, and anybody that I know in town knows how much I enjoy getting out, and how social I was prior to my accident.” 

“It would mean the world to me.”  

If you are interested in supporting Dustin visit his GoFundMe page here.