An Adaptive Launch Frees Everyone


credit: Wikipedia

When Shelly Kerchner started kayaking at a Pennsylvania lake, she was "free of metal, free to go where she wants, free of the need for assistance, except when getting into and out of the boat," she writes on her Go Fund Me page.

That's why she launched Open Waters for All, a fund-raising campaign to pay for an adaptive kayak launcher at Quemahoning Lake.

Kerchner, who was told by a doctor she would never be able to use her hands again after a seizure a decade ago, has regained use of her arms and hands, taught herself to stand and even walk a few steps, and discovered the joy of kayaking at Quemahoning Lake.

But a year ago, she underwent rotator cuff surgery and was told to avoid being lifted into or out of a kayak to protect her shoulders.

Not one to sit in her wheelchair on the shore, Kerchner launched Open Waters for All, a fund-raising campaign to pay for the acquisition and installation of an adaptive kayak launcher at Quemahoning Lake.

With carefully designed step-seats, strategically placed grab bars, and rollers, these launchers enable people with limited use of their legs to enter and exit kayaks by themselves.

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