Meet Tanelle Bolt, our founder:
Tanelle Bolt, Founder
Three years ago, Tanelle worked seven days a week, managed two companies, plus her own interior design company. She was also bartending three nights a week and had just discovered a love for fitness competition.
Now, Tanelle is paralyzed, wheelchair bound and trying to pursue national athletics while raising awareness of independence despite of mobility issues. Tanelle is actively working to make British Columbia more accessible to those individuals.
Why is Tanelle doing this?
On August 10, 2014, Tanelle suffered a free jumping accident off a 60’ bridge. When she made impact with the water, she burst fractured her T6 vertebra and became a paraplegic. As a fitness-obsessed business owner, she wasted no time pushing the limits of her recovery, trying to fill the new void as quickly as possible with outdoor activities, anything to keep her body active and her mind distracted.
However, over the past 3-years, Tanelle has found her journey exceedingly difficult. There is distinct lack of equipment and resources available to independent individuals living with mobility issues. Many communities outside of the lower-mainland do not even have ramp accessible buildings.
It's expensive people!
Moreover, as Tanelle learned quickly, accessing the adaptive equipment necessary to pursue her athletic goals, continue her hobbies, and get herself and her equipment from point A to point B is concerningly difficult, not least of all because of the financial burden.
For example, the cost of basic trike is $9,500.
The cost of a maximum mobility smart drive for your wheelchair? $6000.00
A used accessible RV? $21,000.00
A wheelchair paddle board $6,100.00
The accessible vehicle to move all this gear (including your wheelchair) around? “A new vehicle modified with adaptive equipment can cost from $20,000 to $80,000.”
And that price doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t need to make additional (costly) adjustments to be able to carry the aforementioned equipment. And you thought signing your kids up for dance, soccer, and skiing was going to be expensive.
The point is, as Tanelle discovered early on that one of the biggest struggles faced by individuals after they sustain such such an expensive injury without the proper insurance to cover life afterwards is financial.
With the help of community
Tanelle explains that without the quick efforts of close friends pulling together the initial fundraisers to support her initial expenses and her move from Victoria to Invermere, BC where the cost of living is lower, she would be in a very difficult situation.
Knowing this, Tanelle decided to embark on yet another journey to help others in similar situations by forming RAD, a society that will help individuals with short term and permanent mobility issues to lead independent active lifestyles with family and friends by providing an inventory of adaptive sporting and outdoor equipment for low-cost short and long term rental purposes. As well as provide immediate financial assistance to others after an injury by hosting a charity event in your town.
Pretty cool right? We certainly thought so.
If you'd like to help Tanelle help others facing a similar struggle, please attend one of our events or
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Steve Bertrand is a man who thrives in independence with cerebral palsy and doesn’t relinquish it. A relationship-builder and team motivator, Steve adds his perspective with a life-long history of community advocacy and activism to the RAD team. His sense of humor sheds light on the systemic barriers to play, health, and wellbeing that we are breaking down for community-building with RAD Recreation Adapted society.
Anna Braunizer grew up in the forests, mountains, and waterways of W̱JOȽEȽP, hiking, kayaking, biking, canoeing, paddleboarding, and playing outdoors. She is now an occupational therapist in the community working with people to figure out how they can do what matters for living well. She joined the board for RAD because she loves spending time in nature with friends and finding ways we can all do things together.
Indigenous Community Liaison
Terreane was born in Smithers, BC and grew up in the country where riding horses was a big part of her life. She enjoyed being in nature and had access to many outdoor activities including canoeing, hiking and swimming.
Terreane is Gitxsan, of German descent, and currently lives in Vancouver, BC where she is actively contributing to the Art Community thru multifaceted art practices, from paint to the spoken word. joined the Board of Directors of RAD after experiencing a lack of independent outdoor access and aligning with our mission to create barrier free outdoor adventure opportunities that promote health and wellbeing.