New Bedford Woman Tearfully Gets the Gift of Mobility Thanks to Dartmouth Family
Paul and Bernice Flanagan are no strangers to Fun 107's Holiday Wish Week.
They have been enthusiastic donors to Holiday Wish families since Fun 107 first launched the program with the United Way of Greater New Bedford in 2015.
"I try to listen to you guys as much as I can, but I never miss Holiday Wish week," says Paul Flanagan, the owner of Aaron Pools and Spas. "You guys always pull at the heartstrings. You get me every year."
This year was no different. After hearing Kelsey Machado's story, Paul and Bernice knew they needed to help her.
Machado is 38 years old and lives in the Buttonwood Park section of New Bedford. Until a year or two ago, she ran her own interior design business and was a writer for an architectural magazine. Then, the Hashimoto’s disease and fibromyalgia she had been battling became too much. Her mobility became more and more compromised, and her pain became more and more acute.
"My conditions send shooting pains throughout my body, and it is unpredictable," Machado said.
Over the past several years, Machado has gone from an independent young woman on the rise to someone who needs help showering, preparing meals and leaving the house. In fact, her lack of mobility makes it difficult for her to be in public more often than once or twice a month for doctor visits.
Her Christmas wish was for an Alinker, a non-motorized walking bike without pedals. It would allow her to move independently for the first time in years.
The only problem was the $2,600 price tag.
That's where Paul and Bernice Flanagan stepped in.
Grab a box of tissues and click the play button above. Make sure to listen to the end to hear Kelsey's reaction to the best Christmas surprise ever.
Learn more about how to help Kelsey Machado here.