The American Legion Riders Alafia Chapter 148 will be hosting a poker run fundraiser on Saturday, March 19, 2022 for one of its members, Ed Linde, who is in need of outfitting a wheelchair adaptive accessible vehicle.
Linde suffers from Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT). CMT is a debilitating condition of the peripheral nerves that control the muscles. It is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy, affecting more than three million people worldwide. CMT is a progressive disease, causing loss of normal function and/or sensation in the feet, legs, hands and arms. CMT is currently incurable, but not usually fatal, though it can be severely disabling in some people.
“For years, we have supported and contributed to our fellow riders, veterans and the community,” Linde said. “Helping those in need and in particular our veterans brings great pleasure to my wife, Vicki, and I. For us, it has always been easier to give and contribute than to ask for help for ourselves when needed. I have come to a point where I now reach out and ask for your support. I find it difficult to ask for help and I know it’s not because I’m weak, but because I want to remain strong.”
Due to the progression of his condition, Linde can no longer go anywhere without someone else to assist with loading his wheelchair into the car.
“Over the last year, my wife has also endured her own mobility challenges, which has placed a greater burden on our ability to go anywhere,” Linde said. “This has been an eye-opener and a realization of how much I rely on Vicki. When she travels for business or away, I am basically trapped at home. We have thought hard and long, and even to regain a small bit of my independence we began to look at accessible vehicles, which has brought me to this point: a new, accessible vehicle, with the adaptable equipment I would require, would cost close to $80,000. We have found good used vehicles, but they would still need to be retrofitted with the equipment required to meet my needs. I am not covered under the VA, and because of our income, we do not qualify for any government or outside assistance.”
The poker run begins at 9:30 a.m. at American Legion Post 148 at 10708 Hannaway Dr. in Riverview and ends at 3 p.m. at AMVETS Post 44 at 5521 SR 60 in Plant City. Registration fee is $15 and includes poker hands and a meal. If you would like to participate in the fundraiser for Linde, you can visit the post’s website at www.americanlegionalafiapost148.org or call 677-6529.