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Injury inspires calls for handicap accessibility

From the Editor's Desk

It started on the basketball court with a whisper – not quietly enough – from two young men, probably 17: “You wanna play the old men?”

As my buddy and I shot around I wondered when I became one of the “old men.”

I’m 38 and I still feel young, though apparently I no longer look it, at least to teenagers, and my left leg was slightly sore from running that morning.

“Let’s do it,” my buddy and I simultaneously issued our elderly response.

The games worked us, running the ball and chasing the younger men around, yet we won both times, I believe inspiring another comment from two other teenage men who laughed — not at us — as we worked the pair over.

It felt good, at least inside, as my left leg screamed at me.

As I went up for a shot earlier, the upper half of my leg, just below the knee cap, seemed to separate from my lower leg, issuing a sort of suction-cup sound and a slight pop.

I’ve been using crutches since and am waiting on MRI results, which may confirm I need surgery to repair a torn meniscus.

So, apparently, it is possible for “old men” to beat younger men. They just have to tear their meniscus.

Navigating around locally hasn’t been easy and it brought to mind a woman I encountered a few months back at a meeting I was covering. She came to the meeting in an electric wheelchair and when those running the show asked for input about the issues they covered, she spoke about handicap accessibility.

They thanked her, and then attempted to move on, when she passionately renewed her pleas and relayed how difficult it was to get around and even attend such a meeting when there isn’t adequate handicap accessibility. That was frustrating for a disabled individual who simply wants to participate too but is nearly unable because she can hardly reach the venue.

Reach Editor Stephen Bartlett at stephen@denpubs.com.

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