“Without Via, I wouldn’t be able to see Doreen as often as I do. It’s our lifeline,” Ray shares.Ray, an Air Force veteran, and Doreen, his English bride, share a love that spans oceans and decades. When Ray’s stroke mandated the end of his driving days, Via stepped in, not just as a service but as a lifeline, allowing him to visit Doreen in her memory care facility regularly.
A Lifelong Bond
Ray, a dedicated husband, relies on Via Mobility Services to visit his beloved wife of 67 years, Doreen. He lives independently, and she resides in a memory care unit at an assisted living facility. Life had presented its challenges, notably when Ray experienced a stroke that led him to stop driving. However, his determination to maintain independence and dedication to Doreen never wavered.
Via, a cornerstone of independence for many, plays a crucial role in Ray’s life. It is his bridge to Doreen, ensuring they continue sharing their days despite any obstacles. With Via’s accessible transportation service, he visits her multiple times weekly. Ray’s voice carries warmth as he reflects, “Via isn’t just a ride; it’s how I can be there for her, sharing every moment we can.”
Cherishing Moments: Ray’s Dedicated Visits to Doreen
Our recent ride-along with Ray to visit Doreen showed a glimpse into his routine. His first stop at the facility is always the menu board, checking to see if Doreen will enjoy her meals. If they are serving a food she doesn’t like, he’ll get her a special order hot dog, cut it up into bite-sized pieces, and top it with a special stash of relish he keeps just for her. He stocks her fridge with her favorite ice cream. Ray does everything he can to ensure she’s comfortable and cared for.
Doreen lights up when Ray shows up at the door. They spend time together in the courtyard and reminiscing about meeting when Ray was stationed in Doreen’s native England and family camping trips on weekends in New Hampshire.
From Air Force to Family Life
As a young man, Ray was in the Air Force and played a crucial role in controlling satellites, some of which were significant for weather research. He was stationed in England when he met Doreen. They married and moved to the Lowry Airforce base in Colorado in 1972. They raised two children, Dean and Kim, and welcomed grandchildren and great-grandchildren to the world.
Ray’s post-military life was equally dynamic, marked by his pursuit of a degree in recreation, planning to become a park ranger and a surprising shift toward criminal justice. This pivot led him to a fulfilling career as a probation officer for 11 years. Ray’s adventurous spirit soared in retirement as he took to the skies, piloting small aircraft from Erie to Greeley, humorously recounting his quests for a “$100 hamburger.”
Embracing Technology: Ray Utilizes Via’s Self-Service Portal for Visits
Ray scheduled his next trip with Via to visit Doreen using our new Self-Service Portal. It’s convenient to plan trips online up to a week in advance reliably. Via is more than a service; it’s a promise of presence for those like Ray, who give so much to the community and ask only for the chance to maintain the relationships that define their lives.
Bridging Connections: The Heart of Via’s Mission
Via’s services profoundly impact the well-being and emotional support of riders like Ray and their families. Ray generously donates to Via to help other riders like him have the independence to visit with loved ones. It is not just about providing a ride; it’s about sustaining the bonds that make life worth living.
Via is a community lifeline for thousands of riders. For every story like Ray and Doreen’s, a need goes unmet. Via faces an $8 shortfall per ride after all reimbursements. This gap represents more than numbers; it is the difference between together and apart for people who rely on us.
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Via Mobility Services is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All gifts are tax-deductible as permitted by law.
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