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Lisa’s Courage to Dance: Embracing Life as an Amputee

Lisa Malcheskie, Via Rider

“…I took a watercolor class last year, and there were a couple of days where it’s like, oh God, I don’t even know if I want to go, but I’ve got this ride with Via, and maybe it’ll be a driver I know. Via helps me get to the places, and it’s a nice way to get there. I know all the drivers, and they are amazing. The relationships I develop make getting out and doing stuff feel like family.” – Lisa Malcheskie, Via Rider

From age three, Lisa embraced dance, pursuing a future where her passion would shape her life.

However, life had other plans. Diagnosed with type I diabetes at 16, Lisa faced an uphill battle, with her condition leading to multiple health challenges, including impaired vision, the necessity for dialysis, and, ultimately, an amputation. Yet, her spirit remained unbroken through all this, echoing the sentiment, “I am a dancer. My mind goes there, where my body energy does not.”

The image depicts an indoor scene where a female photographer is capturing a moment involving Lisa. Lisa is seated on a bed, pointing towards the window with a joyful expression, as if she's showing something outside. The bed is adorned with a black and white cow-print blanket and a multi-colored crochet blanket at its foot. The room is filled with personal items and decorations, including plush toys, framed pictures, and various wall hangings. The photographer, focused on her task, is standing to the right, operating a camera mounted on a tripod. There's a sense of liveliness and character in the room, reflecting the occupant's interests and personality.

Moving to Boulder from California to explore natural treatments for her diabetes, Lisa found a new home and, unexpectedly, a new family in Via Mobility Services. The connection went beyond transportation; it was about shared stories, understanding, and genuine care. Lisa’s fondness for drivers like Maggie, Charlie, and Yoshi reflects the deep bonds formed over the years that highlight Via’s commitment to physical mobility and genuine, compassionate support.

Lisa rode with Via for ten years before she passed, and her legacy continues in our Portraits of Ability gallery. Via was more than a ride; it was her lifeline to the world. Via was there for Lisa, whether it was a trip to the doctor, a visit to a friend, or simply a ride to feel the outside world.

3 out of 4 Via riders live with a disability. Via’s accessible transportation services are an irreplaceable part of our riders’ lives. Via provides not only accessibility but also companionship and a sense of normalcy in a life filled with extraordinary challenges.

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