Saanich inventor with rare disorder strives to inspire with fundraising book
SAANICH -- David is driving his motorized wheelchair to his “happy place,” the workshop in his basement.
“I’m left-handed,” he says, showing how most of his curled fingers don’t move. “Only my thumb and index finger work.”
This workshop is where David’s challenges with spinal muscular atrophy inspire opportunities to create solutions.
“I’ve invented over 100 items!” he smiles. “I’ve got a list!”
David’s list of inventions includes motorized shelves so he can reach what’s up, power-picker-uppers so he can grab what’s down, and a new motorized wheelchair that he’s building from repurposed carbon-fibre hockey sticks.
“I’m a very driven person,” he says.
He’s driven to be self-reliant and competitive. David shows me pictures of him sailing around the world and winning silver at the Paralympics.
“Time stops for no one,” he says, explaining why he strives to keep creating his best life. “You only get one chance.”
Which brings David to his latest projects: creating a non-profit called ‘Only One Chance Self Esteem Society’, launching his own website, and writing – one finger tapping at a time on his phone – his autobiography titled, ‘Only One Chance: My Lessons Learnt.’
“My purpose in life — I’ve realized — is to inspire others,” David smiles.
David’s public goal is to encourage readers to overcome adversity, choose positivity, and live life to the fullest. His personal mission is to right his biggest regret.
“I was very stubborn,” David admits.
David says that — before his parents died unexpectedly — he would refuse their help stubbornly, sometimes even disrespectfully.
“Their coping mechanism [for my not accepting support] was, they volunteered for Muscular Dystrophy Canada,” David says.
So now — with tenacity and determination instead of stubbornness — David is making amends. He’s using his book as a fundraiser for the charity. His goal: $100,000.
“I want to go out with a bang!” the 62-year-old starts crying. “It doesn’t matter what I do, I try my very hardest and I want to be the very best I can.”
A goal — no doubt — his proud parents already know he’s achieved.