Tanelle Bolt - Founder of The RAD Society and Adaptive Para-Golfer

Special guest

Five years ago, Tanelle worked seven days a week, managed two companies, plus her own interior design company. She was also bartending three nights a week and had just discovered a love for fitness competition.

On August 10, 2014, Tanelle suffered a free jumping accident off a 60’ bridge. When she made impact with the water, she burst fractured her T6 vertebra and became a paraplegic. As a fitness-obsessed business owner, she wasted no time pushing the limits of her recovery, trying to fill the new void as quickly as possible with outdoor activities, anything to keep her body active and her mind distracted.

Now, Tanelle is paralyzed, wheelchair bound and trying to pursue national athletics while raising awareness of independence despite of mobility issues. Tanelle is actively working to make British Columbia more accessible to those individuals.

Over the past half decade, Tanelle has found her journey exceedingly difficult. There is distinct lack of equipment and resources available to independent individuals living with mobility issues. Many communities outside of the lower-mainland do not even have ramp accessible buildings.

As Tanelle quickly learned, accessing the adaptive equipment necessary to pursue her athletic goals, continue her hobbies, and get herself and her equipment from point A to point B is concerningly difficult, not least of all because of the financial burden. This lack of access led to Tanelle creating The RAD Society.

Knowing this, Tanelle decided to embark on yet another journey to help others in similar situations by forming RAD, a society that will help individuals with short term and permanent mobility issues to lead independent active lifestyles with family and friends by providing an inventory of adaptive sporting and outdoor equipment for low-cost short and long term rental purposes. As well RAD provides immediate financial assistance to others after an injury by hosting charity events.

RAD Recreation Adapted Society's mission is to make outdoor recreation in British Columbia accessible to independent-living individuals with short-term and permanent mobility issues. Tanelle is busy working with other organizations across the province to raise awareness of inclusion with adaptive sports and recreation.

For example, the cost of a basic adaptive trike is $9,500, a maximum mobility smart drive for your wheelchair costs $6,000, a used accessible RV is over $21,000 and a wheelchair paddle board costs over $6,000.

And these prices doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t need to make additional (costly) adjustments to be able to carry the aforementioned equipment. And you thought signing your kids up for dance, soccer, and skiing was going to be expensive.

The point is, as Tanelle discovered early on that one of the biggest struggles faced by individuals after they sustain such such an expensive injury without the proper insurance to cover life afterwards is financial.

Tanelle explains that without the quick efforts of close friends pulling together the initial fundraisers to support her initial expenses and her move from Victoria to Invermere, BC where the cost of living is lower, she would be in a very difficult situation.

Tanelle Bolt - Founder of The RAD Society and Adaptive Para-Golfer has been a guest on 2 episodes.