iBOT PERSONAL MOBILITY DEVICE
Rich Levasseur grew up in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, and lives in the same house where he grew up. He describes his early childhood as a storybook-like with his parents and three brothers. When Rich was eight years old, his father passed unexpectedly due to a stroke. Shortly after that, his 16-year-old brother died from an asthma attack. When Rich was 17, his mother passed away. Upon turning 18, Rich raised his two younger brothers.
Rich grew up (albeit quickly) and became a hardware engineer in the early days of computers working for companies such as Wang Laboratories, where he made many friends that he still has. He went to night school, received his bachelor's degree in engineering, and worked for several companies in the hardware, software, and quality assurance fields.
Rich married Kathy in 1987, and their son was born in 1994. As their son grew up, Rich was involved in every aspect of his youth, from managing his sports teams and leagues to memorable family vacations.
Rich and Kathy were shocked by his eventual diagnosis of Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. For years, Rich commuted to work in Boston in his wheelchair, but that is no longer possible. Currently, Rich fills his time with hobbies, such as converting video tapes to digital video. He finds it very fulfilling to enable people to see relatives and friends with digital media who have passed on and relive memories with them. Additionally, Rich manages his son's elementary school website and a local farmer's CSA website. He is a member of his town's Finance Committee. He volunteers for an organization called iConquerMS that brings together people with MS, their care partners, researchers, and others to understand MS better and search for solutions.
American Mobility Project is awarding Rich an iBOT Personal Mobility Device. He is looking forward to the independence the iBOT will give him. Activities include visiting friends and family, attending events, accessing a favorite beach vacation rental, going to his son's Spartan races, having eye-to-eye conversations, going outside in the winter months in Massachusetts, and so on will now be easier to accomplish. Congrats, Rich! You're going to love your new wheels.