Barbara Spies was alarmed that doctors couldn’t diagnose the cause of her daughter’s symptoms. Penny Suzanne Williams, who lived in West Virginia, was having difficulty performing simple tasks. Then a neurologist discovered that she had a congenital brain abnormality. The blood vessels in her brain were malformed and tangled, causing ongoing damage that couldn’t be stopped or corrected.
Barbara, a widow and an older adult, wanted Penny Suzanne to move back to Colorado. But she realized it would be hard to care for her daughter. She doesn’t drive and couldn’t take Penny Suzanne to medical appointments. So, she registered them both as Via clients.
By the time Penny Suzanne made the trip to Colorado in early 2020, she was using a walker.
As her condition worsened, Penny Suzanne and her mother used Via to make trips to places in Boulder she had loved as a child. They visited the Dushanbe Tea House and the hiking trail near the NCAR Mesa Laboratory. Soon Penny Suzanne had to use a wheelchair. And then came the pandemic, but they continued riding with Via.
They went to the Boulder Creek path near the library, Chautauqua, and Walden Ponds Wildlife Habitat. Barbara was impressed by how kind and thoughtful the Via drivers were.
After a while, their excursions were limited to returning to Walden Ponds. Once, not long before Penny Suzanne went into hospice for end-of-life care, they sat quietly by the water, watching the wildlife. Barbara asked, “Is this where you feel the most like yourself?”
"This is where I live," Penny Suzanne answered.
Via was founded on the belief that mobility is essential. Like you, our clients need freedom of movement and equitable access to food and health care resources. But they also need mobility to make intangible yet vital connections.
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