Vote Online Now to Get West Michigan Woman New Set of Wheels

Posted at 4:33 PM, May 06, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-06 20:15:11-04


photoCOMSTOCK TOWNSHIP, Mich. (May 6, 2014)– May is National Mobility Awareness Month and one Kalamazoo County woman has never let her disability stop her.

Working closely with the Comstock Township community, Pam Burpee has turned challenges into opportunities.

Now she is in the running for a wheelchair accessible vehicle that could only help her continue to work.

It was actually Pam Burpee’s niece who nominated her as a local hero in the ‘National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association’ contest to win the van.

The van Burpee has now is about 12 years old, on the outside it looks fine but the equipment inside is wearing down like the kneeling system that is making it more risky for Pam to come and go. Pam says a new set of wheels would help allow her to continue her work in the community, work that she feels is very important.

Despite not liking to be in the spotlight, Burpee’s friends and family say it’s what she deserves, for a person so selfless and dedicated to their community.

Burpee holds a job, owns her own home, volunteers to help the homeless and is even working on getting her master’s degree as she works to start a nonprofit that will provide sports opportunities for children with physical or mental disabilities.

“I didn’t set out to be the inspiration that people tell me that I am. I’m just Pam and I’m proud to be Pam and that’s all there is to it,” said Burpee.

Bur for those who know her she’s more than ‘just’ Pam, “we know there a lot of individuals that are wheelchair bound but they are still major contributors to society, Pam happens to be one of those,” said her boss Mary Gustas.

Pam has been in a wheelchair since around 4 years-old, she has Arthrogyposis Multiplex Congenital, a disability that basically affects every part of her body and limits mobility in some way shape or form.

But despite that Burpee has learned to adapt and having a disability has never been an excuse for her. “Its who I am, its part of me. Some of the classes I’ve spoken to at Western, some have asked me if you can change it would you and my answer is no because this is who I am and I’m very proud of who I am,” Burpee said.

Voting is open till Friday. VOTE HERE.