Our Story

We are the Hett’s, Lindsay, Quinton, Terri and Darrin. We would like to share our story and our creations (listed below this introduction) with people that have disabilities or may be growing old and can’t do the things they used to do.

We are sharing our story so you can get to know us and understand why we are wanting to help others enjoy life a little more. We hope we can help.
Our daughter Lindsay, who is now 25 years old, had a virus when she was 2 ½ years old that left her with extensive brain damage. She went from a happy, carefree little girl one morning, to a little girl fighting for her life, in a coma, that night.  We took her to a nearby family doctor two days before, but the virus was undetected at that time. She now has HIE, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, cannot talk, has cortical vision impairment, scoliosis for which she has spinal rods implanted, a baclofen pump for muscle spasms, a feeding tube, and cannot use any of her limbs, except for her right arm, with some limited control.  Lindsay currently takes four seizure medications, one reflux medication, potasium and Vitamin D supplements.
We communicate with her by asking questions and she answers “Yes” by closing her eyes and turning her head. If she doesn’t answer us and just looks at us with a frustrated, mad, or sad face, we take that as a “No”. We try to ask the same question both ways, for example, “Do you want to go fishing?” or “Do you not want to go fishing?” She understands everything we talk about, but she just can’t talk back to us, so it gets a little frustrating for her sometimes. We try to cover all possibilities. We have learned to read her responses throughout the years, it hasn’t been easy, but has gotten much better.  Her dad is the one who she communicates with the best.
Lindsay’s pastimes include watching TV, eating, playing computer games, playstation games and casino games, listening to music, camping and fishing during the summer. She watches and reads about the Dallas Cowboys as much as she can, We have traveled to Texas several times to watch them play.  She enjoys remote control trucks and boats and likes to go bowling.  She also enjoys playing fantasy football, fantasy racing, and fantasy fishing.
We will try to finish uploading and posting our past and present idea’s and creations ASAP. Our website is our hobby, but we are busy doing a lot of different things this summer, so please be patient. We hope to add much more soon, again we want to thank everybody for their e-mails that find our website helpful to them.

Update:  Lindsay is now using an eye-gaze communication device for her computer that allows her to post things to facebook and send email with a little help from us.  She loves it.

Go to the GALLERY on the TOP RIGHT corner of this web page to check out all the pictures we have posted so far. We will continue to add more. We hope to have our website completed by the end of this year. We have a lot more to add, so keep coming back.

Check out some of Lindsay’s pictures from her fishing trips!

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    TROPHIES:  $466.75




    THE BRADBURY CO. $   200.00
    FARMERS STATE BANK $   100.00
    JON & SUE ANN JANTZ $   100.00
    DOLORES HETT $   100.00
    STATE BANK OF CANTON $   100.00
    CONTAINER CRAFT $   100.00
    HOSPIRA $   100.00
    DAVID & TAMI GHARST $     50.00
    CITIZENS STATE BANK $     50.00
    DON & DIXIE LUNDQUIST & FAMILY $     25.00
    HEEREY REAL ESTATE $     25.00
    OLSONS MORTUARY $     25.00
    RMR ENTERPRISES LLC $     20.00
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    OCTOBER 12, 2013, 11:00 A.M. TO 3:00 P.M.


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  • Shade Canopy and WindJammer

    This is Lindsay’s Shade Canopy and WindJammer that we made for her.

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  • Switch Adapted Xbox Controller

    This is the switch adapted Xbox controller that Lindsay uses to play Xbox games with her Dad.  

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  • Switch Activated Bowling Ball Ramp

    This is Lindsay’s Switch Activated Bowling Ball Ramp.  Descriptions of how it was made are included with the pictures.

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    OCTOBER 13, 2012, 11:00 A.M. TO 3:00 P.M.


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  • 3rd Annual Wheelchair Fishing Tournament

    OCTOBER 15, 2011, 11:00 A.M. TO 3:00 P.M.



  • Lindsay’s 1st Invitational Birthday Bowling Bash Tournament 2011!

    Lindsay’s birthday bowling was a success and a GREAT time for those that attended. The tournament was held at  Sher Bowls Lanes in Marion, KS. Darla & Daryl Morris, Quinton and I got there at 1  p.m. to get the place decorated and setup. When we were setting up, we were told by the owners that we only had 5 lanes with bumpers, all the other bumpers they had, would not hold air. The reason we decided to have it there was because we were told they could make all lanes bumper lanes, along with having the whole bowling alley to ourselves. I had to really control myself because this completely changed the way we had organized the tournament. The reason for 8 bumper lanes was to spread everybody out to create enough space for 14 wheelchairs and to make it fair to all the participants. We go to a lot of work making our events very organized and fun for the participants. We had to move people from lane to lane because we couldn’t decide on just 5 lanes with bumpers or all 8 lanes, 3 without bumpers. Very bumpy ride for some of our bowlers. We also had to wait for some competitors, they made a right turn at the wrong time. This couldn’t have been helped, nobody on their bus had ever been to Marion KS before.  Once we got everybody in their lanes and started the tournament, it went really well. We actually had time to bowl two games for most of the competitors.  The tournament places were determined by total points for the two games bowled.  1st place – Lindsay-219, 2nd place – Omar-203, Tie for 3rd place – Aaron-202, Chris-202, the (1) frame bowl off winner was Aaron-9 pins, Chris-7 pins, 4th place Chris, 5th – Julie-191, 6th –  Mike F. – 182, 7th – John – 180, 8th – Elizabeth S. – 166, 9th – Kyle – 162, 10th – Janna – 157, 11th – Michael M. – 155, 12th – Elizabeth M. – 138, 13th – Scott – 90 (1 game), 14th – Joel 72 (1 game). We are so happy for Lindsay, she worked hard for us before the event to make her new bowling ball ramp work for her. We had a lot of trial and error to make it work right. We will have pictures and descriptions of her new Bowling ball ramp in another section on our site. This may help others to be able to afford a ramp that is made for severely disabled people. It is a switch activated ramp, just a touch of a switch releases the ball. We would like to sincerely thank Quinton, Sarah, Gage, and Quinn, Darla & Daryl Morris, Donna & Galen Shields, Don & Georgianna Leffler,  Danny & Debbie Hett, Jeannie Hett, Kali Casebeer,  Dolores Hett, and all the participants and their helpers, for coming and helping us make this a fun time for Lindsay. We especially thank our son Quinton for making the Switch Activated Ball Release for Lindsay’s bowling ball ramp. We want to thank Sher Bowl Lanes for letting us have it there.  Lindsay wants to thank Aaron Koehn for sharing her Birthday party with her.

    This was our 1st Bowling Event, so this was a learning experience for us. We try to organize the best we can for our events, sometimes things don’t go as planned. I feel that everything would have been perfect if every lane had bumpers. We want every event to be fair to all competitors, this is why we spend the time planning and organizing each event to make sure each person has an equal chance to win. To prove my point, if you look at 9th through 12th places, these 4 bowlers were without bumpers on their lanes. I do realize that everyone still has fun, including the helpers, but it is also about the competition. We want everyone to feel the accomplishment of winning. There isn’t a better feeling!

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  • 2010 Fishing Tournament Results

    The 2010 Fishing Tournament was a complete success. We want to give a special THANK YOU, to all the generous Sponsors, especially Scott Ellison with FLW Outdoors.com, who has generously provided us with merchandise to give to our participants for the past two years.  Without the Sponsors, we wouldn’t see near as many smiles and not as much excitement from the competitors. When you see them receive the gifts that the sponsors help buy, it is a picture that won’t ever leave you. Every Angler has a different way of expressing  their excitement, that is why it makes it a gift for everyone that attends the tournament.  We had a late start planning  for this year. We weren’t even sure we were going to have the tournament this year, but with quick planning and a lot of help from my family, we got the job done and very well done. We had a few changes this year. Lindsay wanted to change the colors to Blue, Metallic Silver and White. The shirts had all the sponsors names on the back. We bought Jerseys for all the Wheelchair Anglers. We bought 4  canopies to keep the Anglers shaded. Prizes were given to all the Anglers (Rod and Reels). And the most important change, Lindsay was involved in a lot more of the Tournament.

    We started off by meeting at 7/8 a.m.  Dennis, Tracy, Devin, and I hung the DisabledRecreations.com and Sponsor Banners first . Daryl, Don, Jason, and Darrin Lane’s Dad set up the canopies in different locations around the lake. Quinton and J.R. took all the supplies around and set them in locations and helped set up canopies. Darla and Donna set up the kitchen area and helped organize other tournament items. The rest of our family showed up shortly after and did the finishing touches. Elizabeth Miller was our first participant that showed up. She was quite early,  but full of excitement. This is what makes all the hard work turn into total enjoyment for us. Elizabeth was a new competitor this year, but she also brought another level of enthusiasm with her that we haven’t seen before. Great way to start the day!

    It was around 10:30 a.m. when the last group of Anglers showed up. We got everybody registered and handed out all the t-shirts, jerseys, fishing tackle, water bottle, and sunscreen. Before we headed out, we had some things to talk about. We had a rule change, some people to thank, goals for the day, and a very special treat from the defending wheelchair champion from last year, Lindsay Hett. Her big brother set up a program for her to communicate to all her friends. We wanted Lindsay to be more involved helping out and getting to know everybody more, and showing how talented she can be, other than being a great fisherman. I would talk about some things and Lindsay would say what was on her mind, she knew exactly when to talk. I was very proud of her for concentrating so hard. It is not easy to do what she did. It is hard to put into words the feeling I got when she was doing her presentation. What was even better is how it made her feel. It was the first time she actually got to talk to somebody else, other than her family. Nobody knows how important it was for her.

    We got everybody to their places around 11:15 a.m.  I brought some fish food that we use in our ponds. I thought it might make the fish more active. Well, I really didn’t think of it floating when I decided to bring it at the last minute, but with the south wind we had, it ended up floating north towards the Anglers on the north end. Lindsay and Julie were fishing on the north side and Lindsay caught two channel cat within the first hour of the tournament that weighed just over 3.044 lbs. Julie didn’t catch any and she was right next to Lindsay. Julie did have a bite, but got snagged on a tree limb in the water. I thought she still might have a fish on her hook, so I took my shoes and socks off and waded out into the lake and removed the hook from the limb, but no fish. I told Lindsay that it was great she had two fish already, but I had a bad feeling about it. We started having a turtle taking our hot dogs, so we switched to worms thinking the turtle would stop taking our bait. Then we had trouble with perch taking our worms.

    After about 2 hours of fishing, Julie still hadn’t caught a fish. We were joined by Elizabeth Stubby on our side of the lake. She started catching fish within a half hour of fishing with us. She caught two fish that weighed 3.7 lbs to take the lead. Joel was also quietly catching fish on the west side of the lake. He moved ahead of Lindsay around 1:30 p.m with 3.5 lbs. By 2 p.m. we still had 5 people that hadn’t caught a fish and Lindsay was still stuck on 3.044 lbs. This is when things started to feel like Deja Vu! Julie caught her first fish at around 2:00 p.m. Julie’s first fish was quite a spectical!Her helpers started singing a song to the fish and next thing you know, Julie hooked her first fish, 2.5 lbs. In the process of catching her fish, the fish got off the hook right before they got it onto the bank. Lindsay’s Grandpa Leffler was over there helping the girls out and when the fish got off, grandpa and Julie’s helper both went to grab the fish before it swam away. The helper got there first to grab it and grandpa tried to stop and slipped into the pond on his butt. Julie had her first fish and grandpa had a muddy butt, it was a great moment. When somebody sings to the fish and thenyou watch somebody try so hard to help a participant catch her first fish, it is a fish story to remember. This was just the beginning for Julie, but it was also kind of sad for Lindsay, but Lindsay was very happy for Julie, she was her cheerleader. Believe me, Lindsay was still trying to win this tournament, but the bites weren’t coming anymore. Even the turtle quit taking our bait. Elizabeth caught one more fish that put her at 4.818 lbs. and in control of first place. We still had competitors catching fish, but they were either their first fish or they weren’t big enough to contend with Elizabeth, Joel and Lindsay. Then around 2:30, We heard 3 screams coming from Julie and her helpers, she hooked her 2nd fish and it put her in 2nd place, but it moved Lindsay into 4th place, out of the top three. It was disappointing for her, but she continued to cheer Julie on. It wasn’t 5 minutes later and Julie caught her third and final fish that put her at 6.018 lbs and in sole posession of 1st place. There was about 30 minutes or so left in the tournament. I believe Janna, the 2nd place finisher from last year caught her first fish around 3 p.m. Julie hooked into another big fish around 3:10 but it broke her line and that ended the tournament with a splash.  The top three anglers were:  1st Place – Julie Chism; 2nd Place – Elizabeth Stubby; 3rd Place – Joel Wright.

    This was another storybook ending, but for a different participant. This is what brings everyone back the next year, because you never know if you might be the person in that story. We have learned that patience is a virtue. Lindsay and Julie waited all day for good things to happen, Lindsay last year and Julie this year. All good things come to those who wait. Believe me, waiting in a wheelchair is tough to do, but every competitor enjoys the competition and fun that the fishing tournament provides.

    It wasn’t all about winning the fishing tournament this year for us, it was more about involving Lindsay in helping out with the tournament. We also wanted Lindsay to get to know everyone better and just enjoy the excitement that this brings to the other Anglers. She really enjoyed our family that spoke to her and visited her fishing spot. We talked a lot before the tournament about  trying to fight the feeling she gets being around a crowd of people and she won that fight. She didn’t try to hide behind her closed eyes. She would look at  everybody and communicate with her eyes when talked to. I was very proud of her. When she used her twitch switch to help with the presentation, she knew when it was her time to talk. She concentrated on her fishing pole when I was busy helping other Anglers. Drawing the names out of the cap without complaining that I was helping her too much, because when we got home, she raised cane with me. She wanted to do it all herself, but people had to get going, so I felt like I had to speed things up. She was upset when we got home, but handled it like a champ during the prize givaways. I apoligized to her, but when you practice something and then don’t do what we practiced, it was very disappointing to her, but she handled it very well in front of everyone.

    We learn something new each year, we try to make it as equal as possible for each Angler to catch as many fish as possible. This year we learned not to use floating fish food, especially when the wind is blowing.  Next year we will bring fish food that doesn’t float, because 3 out of the top 4 Anglers were fishing on the north side of the lake, where the fish food was floating towards. The reason we even thought about bringing it, is so it would make the fish more active. I want everyone to know, Julie was very deserving, she had some great helpers that worked their butts off and Julie was a true champion. When she received the trophy, the joy on her face made me melt, it was hard to hold back the tears of joy for me. I am actually getting goose bumps as I type, what a feeling! Lindsay is sitting here beside me and she agrees, Julie was an AWESOME Champion.

    We are going to start much earlier this year, we are open to any suggestions from anybody that is involved each year to tell us what you like most and tell us what we need to do different. Next year we are thinking about pulling a trailer behind a four wheeler, and taking Lindsay around and let her fish with each Angler. Winning is important to Lindsay, but being closer to her friends is more important. This may change before next year, because it would be a very rough ride around the lake. I will work hard to figure something out.

    We want to Thank the Helpers, Family, Sponsors and God, for making everything so perfect. We promise to make each Angler as happy and fulfilled next year as we did the first 2 years of DisabledRecreations.com’s Annual Wheelchair Fishing Tournament.


  • 2nd Annual Wheelchair Fishing Tournament

    SEPTEMBER 18, 2010 11:00 A.M. TO 3:00 P.M.



  • Playstation® 2 Controller

    For people who have always wanted to play Playstation games, but can’t use a hand controller, we have found a special controller for you.

    This controller can be held on your lap. It has control buttons that are easy to push or hit with your hands or can be controlled by a switch. This is great for a lot of different people with control or hand coordination problems. The controller can be purchased here. The website also has a list of recommended games to use with this controller. You will need a PS or PS2 to use the controller, but it would be worth the investment.

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  • Lindsay’s Stereo System

    Lindsay has a Home Stereo System that is hooked into a small Boom Box Stereo with a analog tuner, that we have hooked into a switch. She can turn it on when she wants to, as long as we have the switch where she can reach it or touch it.

    At night when she needs something she will hit the switch over and over to turn it on and off until she gets the attention she needs. If she needs a drink or doesn’t feel good or just wants us to figure out what her need might be, she will keep hitting it until we get her taken care of. If she just turns it on and leaves it on, then she just wants to listen to music. It’s a great set up, but the secret is finding an analog tuning stereo, most are digital, and when you switch it off with the switch, it will not stay on the station that you had it on, most likely it will be static. So if you can find one or you might have an old stereo tuner, hang on to it. We had to hook the stereo’s together so she had a better sounding stereo system then the old cheap system, we used RCA to Headphone adapters to hook them together. Works great, again it gives her something that she can control or operate on her own. The stereo is plugged into an AbleNet PowerLink 2 control center that allows switch operation of electrical appliances. We have used this control center for other things also, it is very important to involve a kid with disabilities as much as possible, it makes them feel independent.

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  • Lindsay’s Entertainment Bedroom

    Lindsay’s room is setup with a Laptop computer with a 26” Flat screen television that has a PC (RGB) port to plug the computer into. The reason for the Flat screen (tv) is it’s easier for her to see, it is a bigger screen than her monitor, and makes game playing better for her. We have a dual mouse set up so we can help her move the mouse pointer when needed.

    She has her Mouse mounted in a photo album for easy touching. We have two hard sponges stuck to the inside bottom of the photo album and mounted the mouse between them with Velcro on the bottom of the mouse to hold the mouse in place so it doesn’t move around. We mounted a small rectangular piece of sponge to the top of the photo album with sticky puddy. The top piece we have mounted, just makes contact with the left click on the mouse. We have this piece mounted with the putty so we can move it around to get the best connection with the left click as possible. When the photo album gets wore in you need to adjust it to hit the best place on the left click. It seems to work best when it is hitting the highest point on the left click. Just experiment a little while, but this works great for kids with limited control of their arm and hands. The bigger the area to hit, makes it easier for a disabled person to make contact.  Any questions just ask, we will help. We use the swivel clamps and rods to hold her mouse control book in place. We can adjust it to the easiest place and most comfortable position that she needs it to be. We have a 1/2” aluminum rod bolted to her medical bed, that has a swivel clamp connected to it. The swivel clamps have 2 half inch holes that 2 pieces of 1/2 inch rods slide through. Then we slide another swivel clamp on the shaft that is connected to the rod we have bolted to her bed. We then slide the rod that we have bolted to her (photo album) mouse controller and position to the easiest place for her to hit.  So (2) swivel clamps and (1) 2 foot rod and (2) 1 foot rods are needed for her mouse controller.
    We have the Computer and Flat screen setting on a Hospital bed table. We can slide it under her bed and have it where she wants it to be. It will adjust up and down as well. She plays numerous games with just the click of the mouse, remember she has limited use of her right arm and hand. She can play games by herself or with a little help from us. We will have a list of games and programs to download on this site. Remember after you have this setup, you need to do your own searching for the games that work best for the person playing the games. We are going to list her favorites and a few others that she can play. For kids with lack of control or constant movement of their arms, such as spasm’s,  extra rods and swivel clamps can be added. If you would position the rods on both sides of the persons arm they are using to play with the controller, you can attach rubber bands or springs to the shafts and to the persons hand or arm and help them stabilize their movements. People with spastic control problems would be able to perform much better if you could stabilize their movement. You can actually slow their movement down to help them control the mouse without the continuous spastic movements. My daughter doesn’t have that problem, but I have used them to hold her hand up when she is tired or being lazy. You can hold their hands up just enough, that it is practically touching the controller and activate it with limited movement. It makes it easier to click the mouse mouse when he/she is tired or being lazy. I will have pictures to show what I mean, it looks like they are a puppet, but they will enjoy themselves so much, it wouldn’t matter. We will update future findings. As far as the games, some you can download for free, some you pay for, but well worth the entertainment. It also gives you a chance to do your own thing. Lindsay’s setup isn’t cheap but you can go cheaper, if you want to know how, just ask. There is nothing better for a person with disabilities than to do something themselves. It doesn’t matter how they do it, as long as they can do it without help. Any achievement my daughter makes, makes me work harder on creating more things for her to do.

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  • Swivels and Clamps

    We have  1/2 “  x   1/2 “  swivel clamps and  1/2″   aluminum rods with holes drilled in them that we use for a lot of different things. The swivel clamps and aluminum rods are much cheaper than buying the special clamps and tubing that are made for wheelchairs. We use  (2)  1/2”   x   1/2”   swivel clamps and  (1)   1/2”  x  2′   rod and  (2)   1/2”  x   2′   rods for everything. We also have 4′ rods that we slide through her trey holder that is connected to her wheelchair. The long rods allow you to slide several swivel clamps on at one time and have multiple rods connected to them. By doing this you can have multiple connectors to do several activities at one time.

    We are willing to help create mounts to work on the wheelchair you have, not all wheelchairs are the same. You can buy wheelchair mounts, but It was cheaper for us to use the ones we created. I think the clamps and rods we use, probably is the best creation we have come up with so far. They adjust to any position and are light weight. They have held up for us and we have been rough on them. The aluminum rod we use is light weight, yet very sturdy. When I get the rod, I usually take a  sander and smooth them out to get the nicks off and help the clamps slide much easier. I drill multiple  5/16”  holes for different things that we mount different things to. I usually file the holes after drilled. I use  1/4”  bolts and wing nuts to mount everything to the rods. The clamps I use, I will spread open a little bit with a good size screw driver, that way when you tighten them, they will open up more for easy adjustment. What it does is creates more gap, it will not hurt them or break them, just stretches them a little. Shouldn’t have to do it more then 1 time. My daughter has a wheelchair with a tray holder on her armrest. We stick the rod through the  3/4”  tubing. I would recommend  5/8”  tubing, but that’s how her chair came. The tubing came with a  1/4”  hole with a nut welded on it, that a  1/4”  threaded male knob screws into, that holds her tray from moving. You can also use (T) handle  1/4”  bolts. I went ahead and drilled another hole and welded a nut in a different place on her tubing, just because when we use the  1/2”  rod that holds all her switches, controllers, fan, dvd player, umbrella holder and fishing pole, it just gave the rod more support from possible slipping or moving when we had excess weight or were using longer rods for other recreational use. She has even enjoyed lighting fireworks with an extra long punk holder and shooting roman candles safely.  I don’t recommend this, but with this setup it made it safe and fun. With the price of the clamps and different lengths of rod and a little effort of drilling some holes, you can mount your devices and adjust to every angle needed to enjoy your entertainment. A person could just drill holes through the tubing and rod, with multiple holes drilled in the rod for different adjustments, but you will have to take out the bolts and move to a different hole and it won’t swivel in your tubing. I advise you to use drill holes in your tubing and have nuts welded onto the tubing, then use the your  1/4”  male threaded knobs. I advise using (2)  1/2”  x  1/2”  swivel clamps, (1)  4′  rod and (2)  1′   to  1 1/2′  aluminum rods. We will try to help or create a mount for the chair that you own or you can buy your own wheelchair mounts elsewhere, but they are very expensive.

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  • Heat Protection

    The problem with fishing in the summer is the heat. Lindsay gets extra hot from the medications she is on and the fact that her body just doesn’t regulate heat very well. It can cause serious problems and is something we have to be very aware of. Lindsay can not sweat, this doesn’t allow her to get rid of her body heat. If we do not keep her cool, she would not be able to enjoy the summer time activities, which we do a lot of.

    When we go fishing (or any outdoor activity when it’s hot) we take a spray bottle filled with cool water to keep her wet and cool along with a couple of wet wash cloths or towels. Keeping her head as wet as possible is very important, we will soak her hair down. We also have about 2 dozen reusable cooling bandanas we wrap around different parts of her body or just lay on her skin. we keep them fresh throughout the day.

    We also have a patio table umbrella that we put up for shade.  We made a removable and adjustable Stake to hold our Umbrella up in a stable position. When you are finished using this for the day, just pull the Stake out of the ground. It works great. Drill some  5/16″  holes about  6″  apart in a  5′  long piece of metal Pipe or a Rod that is smaller then the inside dimension of the umbrella tubing. Slide the umbrella over the Pipe or Rod for the height needed, then just put a  3″  bolt through the hole and set the umbrella down on top of the bolt. The bolt is the stop, so the umbrella wont slide down the Pipe or Rod that you knock in the ground. We can move it wherever we want and can adjust the position based on where the sun is. You can find patio umbrellas at garage sales or ebay and craigslist at a reasonable price.

    We also take a 12” fan with us, set it next to her, and plug it into the DC-AC inverter which is hooked to the 12 volt battery that her fishing pole is connected to.

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  • Homemade Electric Fishing Reel

    Before we purchased the Elec-tra Mate reel, Lindsay’s dad built her a homemade electric reel that we used for two or three years. It wasn’t easy but between dad and brother, Quinton, we made a great creation.

    We took a Zebco reel with casting lever on bottom and took the reversible lever off and threaded the lever hole. We bought a small electric motor and threaded the shaft of the motor. We had to buy a brass bushing to install in the motor because of too much play in the shaft, which caused vibration. We screwed the motor shaft into the reel hole and installed a small mount that connects with the fishing rod, so the motor wouldn’t turn with the shaft. It worked great except it didn’t have a gear reduction gearbox between the reel and motor so it reeled in faster then we wanted it to. We had to get a motor with enough power to be able to bring in a big fish and small enough to reel the lures in at a slow enough pace. Lindsay caught a lot of nice big fish with this reel. Would probably work better with a different ratio reel or a smaller electric motor. This reel cost around $40.00 to make.

    We are actually looking in to building a new design in 2011, I really think we can build these electric reels at a cheap price and possibly distribute in the upcoming years at a reasonable price.


  • Commercial Electric Fishing Reel

    One of Lindsay’s favorite things to do is fish. We can only do this five or six months of the year but, she really enjoys this.  We are lucky enough to have a farm pond about a mile from our house that is full of fish. She has caught catfish, bass, bullhead, and perch.

    Lindsay currently has an Elec-tra Mate 450PTH mounted to a Penn 450 fishing reel . The Elect-tra Mate cost about $350.00 and the Penn reel about $90.00, but it was well worth it. We made our own switch to save money. we  hook it up to a 12 volt battery. She can activate the switch that we made better than the one that we could have gotten with the reel. We special ordered the electrical cable and switch cable at a  6′  length with no ends. We then finished the electrical cable with battery terminal ends to hook up to our battery. The switch cable is wired to the switch we made. This switch is made from a car horn that we have installed inside a small photo album. We drilled two holes in the photo album for the switch to mount to. The car horn sets inside the photo album. We decorated the photo album with purple duct tape and some stickers to make it look neat. All Lindsay has to do is touch the top of the photo album to activate the switch. It will stay activated until she lets off. The reason for using the photo album is Lindsay couldn’t activate the toggle switch that you can get with the reel, and the photo album is a lot bigger area for her to touch. You can adjust the travel in the horn switch or add some weight to the album cover to make it activate with less pressure or force. This switch can be used with your hands, feet, chin, elbow, or just about any part of your body.

    We use  1/2  x  1/2″  swivel clamps and  a  4′  x  1/2″  aluminum rod that slides through her wheelchair trey holder tubing. The trey holder tubing connects to her arm rest. We slide  1 – 1/2″  x 1/2″  swivel clamp on each end of the  4′  rod. We then slide another  1′  long aluminum rod through the 2nd hole of the swivel clamp. We have  2 –  5/16″   holes drilled through the rod that we bolt the  2″  x  1′  piece of plastic pipe to. We slide the fishing pole butt end (rod handle) into the plastic pipe that is located at the back of her chair. We then have her switch located just in the front of her arm rest. It is bolted to a  1/2′  x   1′  piece of aluminum rod that slides through the other swivel clamp towards the front of her chair. This holds her switch in position and with the excess aluminum rod sticking out of the clamp, we set the rod tip on. We then add another clamp on the excess aluminum  1/2″  rod. The clamp keeps the rod tip from being pulled off by a fish.


  • Using Pillows for Comfort

    We have different size pillows to make Lindsay comfortable and position her for different things such as sleeping, supporting her in her wheelchair, holding her arm in position to make it easier to play games. Grandma Hett also creates pillows of different shapes and sizes. We have learned throughout the years to make pillows that fit Lindsay as needed for comfortable positions for different activities. The pillows have to support her and allow her to move around enough to activate her different switches and suit Lindsay’s needs.

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  • Using a Camcorder as Another Set of Eyes

    We have made it possible for Lindsay to see things up close, even though they are far away, by connecting our camcorder to her portable DVD player. This can be used for looking around when you are at the lake, vacation sightseeing, watching a ballgame, looking at your bobber when you are fishing, or any event that you have to see a long ways away.

    Anyone who has limited vision or has limited motion to be able to look around, can see what you and I see. There is nothing worse than when you say “did you see that” and the person can’t turn to see it . It’s frustrating for that person that they missed out on seeing something cool. Until we came up with this idea we just didn’t say that phrase, because explaining what you saw just isn’t the same as seeing it yourself.
    An adapter is needed to connect the camcorder video cable to the DVD player video cable.


  • Using Umbrellas

    When we go fishing or are at an outside event we always have an umbrella to keep as much light out of Lindsay’s face as possible. Her eyes are sensitive to light and some of the medications she is on make her prone to sunburn and heat exhaustion, possibly even heat stroke.

    We have a small Radio Flyer clip on umbrella and have made an umbrella holder for a standard size umbrella that will adjust where ever we want it to better block the light and provide shade. I created an adjustable umbrella holder out of plastic pipe that attaches to the  1/2”  rod and swivel clamps. It adjusts to any angle and height for your chair. When possible, we also take a large patio umbrella. We just drive a stake in the ground and mount the patio umbrella over the stake for more complete shade.

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  • Vision Aides

    With cortical vision impairment, bright lights such as sunlight and fluorescent lights tend to bother Lindsay. Everyday is different or even the time of day is different when you have cortical vision impairment. We have two sets of glasses for Lindsay.

    Her regular glasses darken when outside, but sometimes it’s not enough, so we have an extra pair that are a darker shade for sunny days or when it’s extra bright from snow reflection. If you just have regular glasses, flip up visors could be used.

    We have found that putting a cap or hat on Lindsay before going into stores helps block the store lights. She actually has a large assortment of caps and hats.

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  • Using a Dropper for Drinking

    We use a medicine dropper to give Lindsay drinks. She doesn’t handle liquids too well and the medicine dropper allows us to control the amount that goes in her mouth better.

    We recommend starting with something thicker, like chocolate milk or a milkshake, that doesn’t go down the throat as quickly. Aspiration is probably easier with liquids, so please consult your doctor and speech therapist before trying this to see if it is a possibility for your situation. If you get permission, we recommend you have a suction machine close by at all times.

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  • Food Processor

    We have a Black & Decker Handy Chopper Plus  we use to chop Lindsay’s food into fine pieces. Lindsay has a g-tube that we use for giving her medicines, but she is eating by mouth thanks to the food processor.

    She eats what we eat, even though there is a chance she may aspirate by swallowing wrong. We had swallow studies done when she was younger that she didn’t do too well on, but we worked with a Speech therapist that observed her eating and decided to take the chance. We have a portable suction machine that we have to use almost every time we feed her, but she does have a good cough reflex, so she is able to cough and then we can suction her. If you feel like we do, we feel it’s only fair she eats the same meals we do, because to us it’s torture to smell what’s cooking and not be able to eat it. Please consult your doctor and speech therapist before trying this to see if it is a possibility for your situation. There are exercises for the tongue that your speech therapist might be able to help you with. If you get permission, we recommend you have a suction machine close by at all times.

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  • Pictures of Lindsay with her Favorite Anglers

    Here are a few pictures from a couple of years ago, when we made a trip to Grand Lake in Oklahoma.  We went to watch the Bassmaster’s Elite series fishing.  While we were there, we were able to meet and greet with all the top anglers from around the country.  It was a blast! If you have ever heard of Kevin VanDam or Mike Iaconnelli,  then you might be very intrigued by our pictures. These guys were so sweet to Lindsay and Quinton. They talked to them and were very happy to take pictures with them. They autographed the poster that we made and Iaconnelli gave them both an autographed cap from his own collection. We met all the Anglers at the event. We play ESPN fantasy fishing, so that is how we really got to know these guys. Kevin VanDam is the best ever Bass fisherman in the world. It was very special to meet these Anglers.
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  • Lindsay’s R/C Truck

    This is Lindsay’s RC Traxxis Stampede. We had to modify her controller so she could actually play with the truck. This has actually become her favorite activity this summer. We have built some jump’s in our yard, believe me this thing gets air. Quinton installed a more powerful electronic system in the truck also, Lindsay has a need for speed. We had to install a wheelie bar on the rear of the truck. It can actually ride a wheelie 40/50 feet or more. She had to create her own body, 80’s model shortbed chevy. She helped paint all the diff. designs, it turned out great. We are in the process of drawing up a track, then making it in our backyard. We might just make a drag racing track for now, then when we get enough items needed, we will build a bigger track. Depends on the interest we get.