Meet Tristen Onofry

As a motivated and independent individual who uses specialized accessible technology and medical equipment every day, it becomes second nature to discuss the awards and accomplishments rather than the difficulties of having a disability. The journey of getting a job, a house, friendships, or going to new places often requires a lot of planning to allow me to do things on my own. This is because essential things such as using the restroom can take double or triple the amount of time for me to finish. This is because I have to transfer from my wheelchair to the commode chair and make sure that the restroom is big enough for me to use it. These chairs are thousands of dollars which are not reasonable for the average individual or their parents’ incomes to give us the independence that we all deserve to have.

I recently took a trip to Washington, D.C. for a national contest called Student Television Network Convention to make films and news stories in a competition. This was a chance for me as an aspiring filmmaker and editor to improve and learn my craft. One thing I had to anticipate for this trip was my everyday power wheelchair getting damaged by the airplane because it is so large. My parents reached out to Clinics Can Help to ask if they would assist in acquiring a portable wheelchair so I could go on the trip. Clinics Can Help paid for and donated a brand new, light weight portable power wheelchair to me. After I got the chair and was in Washington, D.C. about to start the contest, the beginning of COVID-19 happened to the world and ended the contest and job. However, I will always remember that moment and continue to appreciate what Clinics Can Help provided to me. I am looking forward to giving back to the disability community as an employee of Clinics Can Help.