Welcome To Wheels For Kids!

Founder’s Statement

deniseHello!  My name is Denise Roeser, and I am the founder of Wheels For Kids, a 501(C)3 non-profit organization established in 2003 to provide wheelchairs to children with disabilities and their families who could not otherwise afford to purchase them.

I would like to tell you a little bit about what brought me here..

My daughter, Ashlee, born October 4, 1988 was growing seemingly without problems, but at 9 months of age, Ashlee was not progressing as she should.  Ashlee was weak.  We learned that she suffered from a condition known as Hypotonia Cerebral Palsy.

Ashlee’s father and I were working full-time, but did not make enough money for the five-day-a-week physical and occupational therapies, which cost over $100,000 per year.  At the time we did not have health insurance.  When we tried to obtain it, we discovered that pre-existing conditions were not covered.

ashleeAshlee’s first manual wheelchair at age 2, which she quickly outgrew, cost $3,200.  The costs for Ashlee’s therapies, braces and wheelchairs were so high that my husband and I could not financially support her.  I quit my job, and my husband and I divorced in 1992 in order to qualify for Medicaid to shoulder Ashlee’s medical bills.  However, we stayed a nuclear family.

We were told by the doctors that Ashlee would go from a crib, to a bed, to a nursing home and that would be her life.  We refused to accept this, and vigorously championed her therapies.  Ashlee has now had four wheelchairs totaling $36,000.  Her current custom-made electric wheelchair cost $24,000 and most recently needed the seating to be refurbished at a cost of $3500.

This is why I established Wheels For Kids – to help middle class families with children with disabilities keep up with the progressive growth and cost of wheelchairs.  I want to help the children who fall between the cracks.  I hope you will join me on my journey.