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Ron's New Appreciation for Mobility Issues That Affect Millions of Canadians

Posted by Ron Neal on Thursday, March 9th, 2017 at 2:07pm.

 REMAX mobility




On January 20, 2017 I had a life changing moment. I wrote about my accident on Whistler last month, my collision with an unmarked block of ice on a run in upper Whistler Bowl. I was carried off the mountain for the first time in 43 years of skiing, put into an ambulance, taken to hospital and ultimately underwent surgery to reattach my quadricep tendons which had separated from my kneecap.

Blog Post about accidentWhistler accident, Ron Neal

I was lucky! I was lucky to be alive and to have a repairable injury. I had no head injury or internal injuries and my spinal cord was intact.

Last week I had the good fortune to attend our international RE/MAX conference in Las Vegas. As a seasoned attendee having been to dozens of conferences over the years, I knew that in Las Vegas each venue was literally a mile from the last. It would be impossible for me to make it to the various speakers on crutches and would exhaust me. I was able to arrange a scooter to get around which worked out awesome and probably made me the most visible and recognized attendee of the thousands with the Canadian flag I rigged up on it lol 

Click to see Ron's Scooter in Vegas

 REMAX International conference transportation with Canada flag

As of this writing it’s now been 46 days since the accident, 43 days since surgery. I can tell you that wet crutches don’t go well with tile and wood floors. There are moments I should’ve had a helmut and body armour, but I’ve made it through the worst without further injury!


 Yesterday Dr Zarzour examined me and gave me permission to put my weight on my leg, to bend up to 45 degrees…and to drive! I’m still slow, but excited with my progress. Getting in and out of my hot tub unassisted presents a challenge, but I’m allowed again. Yeah! I'm EXTREMELY grateful to my son Cameron for driving me around and general helpfulness for the last 47 days. My team, colleagues and several other friends also generously stepped up to help for which I am filled with gratitude.

 Celebrating with a hot tub

After +6 weeks of restricted mobility and inability to drive I’ve gained a huge appreciation and empathy for the millions of Canadians with mobility issues. Whether from spinal or other injuries, arthritis, obesity or other health issues, mobility issues make life’s simplest activities impossible independently for some and extremely challenging at least for many others. Getting in and out of bed, bathing, dressing, getting in and out of a car, cooking, cleaning to name a few all take at least far more time and planning, if not third party assistance and in some cases are not even options.

 Get me off of these crutches

About 10 days after my surgery when I was first successful with putting a sock on my own foot was a massive personal triumph. It was also a huge eye opener to those who go through life unable to do so much that we take for granted. With mobility issues, virtually every activity takes more time and planning. I realized quickly how very fortunate I was that I had great help available, my living was mostly on one level and my mobility issues were temporary. Furthermore, with my fitness level I was able to do almost everything independently, which many others simply couldn’t do without assistance or specialized devices.

My first unassisted steps yesterday without my brace or crutches together with my Doctor’s clearance to start driving myself again brought selfish tears of joy together with tears of sadness for those I know don’t have that option.

The impairment of my mobility did come with a silver lining in that my forced slow down resulted in much time to read, to work on deferred projects and to step up my creativity, more time to "work on my business". I'm excited about the progress our team has made over the past few weeks!

I live my life with the belief that it’s essential to give back, to help others less able to help themselves. Please join me in supporting those with mobility issues, whether with a helping hand, donating or fundraising as the opportunities arise.


7 Responses to "Ron's New Appreciation for Mobility Issues That Affect Millions of Canadians"

Susan McGougan wrote: Wonderful insight and reflection Ron. I'm sorry I did not get to chat with you in Vegas.
Your blog brought tears to my eyes. I'm so happy for you, for your recovery but more importantly your new insight into mobility challenges.

Posted on Thursday, March 9th, 2017 at 6:04pm.

kathy schellenberg wrote: Well said Ron. Thanks for putting this out there, you have a voice that many do not and we're all guilty of often taking so much for granted.
Good reminder. Best wishes for a continued speedy recovery.

Posted on Thursday, March 9th, 2017 at 6:22pm.

Ron Neal wrote: Sorry I missed you too Susan. What a conference it was! Thanks for your kind words.

Posted on Thursday, March 9th, 2017 at 8:06pm.

Ron Neal wrote: Thank you Kathy :-)

Posted on Thursday, March 9th, 2017 at 8:06pm.

Mitchell Lindsay wrote: Gee really sorry Ron hoping everything heals and your recovery will be successful like you mentioned we all appreciate life once it flashes before our eyes
Mitch & Julie

Posted on Thursday, March 9th, 2017 at 8:11pm.

John Corrie wrote: Ron Glad you are recovering on schedule. I certainly can relate to your story of mobility loss. The 2 best feelings when recovering from hip replacements a few years back were with out a doubt being able to drive and put my socks on. Cheers.

Posted on Sunday, March 12th, 2017 at 12:08pm.

Frank Akhavan wrote: I am glad this accident was not worse and you have been able to recover from it.
I hope your personal disability policy covered you for this period.
Most people don't realize the additional pain which loss of income can inflict upon them.
Take care of yourself.

Posted on Tuesday, March 14th, 2017 at 7:44pm.

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