Alex LeBlanc’s life is more complicated than most.
The 33-year-old father of three has multiple sclerosis (MS) and navigates the streets of Wolfville in a wheelchair.
Right now, LeBlanc and friends are fundraising to purchase a used accessible wheelchair van. With registration and insurance, he figures another $3,000 will do the trick.
He hasn’t had access to a vehicle since 2016 and says, “it would be great to be able to travel with my family around rural Kings County in a safe, reliable vehicle with the comfort and the independence that my power wheelchair provides.”
A fundraising event is set for March 2 at the Centreville hall. It will run from 1 – 4 p.m. LeBlanc has a number of donation cans around Wolfville.
Having made a couple of payments already, he is looking forward to being able to travel in the same vehicle as his children, aged 5, 6 and 11.
Having lost his mother in 2017 and his dad only recently, LeBlanc says the community rallying around him means a great deal.
Growing up in Kentville, Alex graduated from Northeast Kings Education Centre and studied both automotive repair and business administration at Kingstec. He is unable to work now due to his MS.
His young service dog, Chance, is an important part of his support system. Chance can pick up LeBlanc’s cell phone should he drop it and has been trained to bark if help is needed.
Sometimes his master does need assistance, like the time lately when his wheelchair got stuck in a frozen sidewalk rut and LeBlanc flipped over.
Two tradesmen saw him and came to his aid. Ramps that aren’t shoveled pose huge challenges, as do bathrooms that aren’t wheelchair accessible.
LeBlanc has been refused entry to public buses due to the fact that Chance doesn’t have expensive provincial ID, but he can’t afford the process.
Dealing with poverty-related issues takes up a good deal of his time. LeBlanc has been using medical cannabis successfully for a couple of years and wishes it was simpler to access in an organic form.
He is grateful for the support the community has shown and says, “we appreciate everyone coming together to make this happen for us.”
The March 2 fundraiser is being organized by DreamCatcher Photography. Email money transfers can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.