Martin and Lisa Boon first became connected with the Society in the early 1990s after Lisa was diagnosed with MS. They have participated in and volunteered at countless Bike MS and Walk MS events, and joined the Washington State Action Day. Lisa leads a local self-help group, is an MS Ambassador, and regularly volunteers to lead educational programs in her community.
The couple shares their powerful story when meeting with their legislators, and have built a strong relationship with their State Senator, Joe Fain, the majority floor leader who has emerged as a champion for the MS Society as well as issues affecting the disability community. On advocacy, Lisa said, “I try to take into consideration all of my friends and fellow self-help group attendees who cannot make it to Olympia to advocate for themselves. I am able to put a face to MS and explain our problems, issues, and struggles in a way that our public officials can understand.”
After her diagnosis, Lisa became connected with an organization called Paws-Abilities and received a dog who is by her side through everything: helping her stand up, move from chair to chair, and stabilize her walking. Legislation, including the ADA, is what made Lisa able to take her dog—Snowball—with her wherever she went. “A lot has changed over the last 25 years—we’re moving closer to a more accessible nation. We’ve traveled a lot and are able to see the changes the US has made, and the gaps that need to be filled overseas. During a vacation to Memphis we visited a studio where Elvis recorded his albums—a beautiful and historic building that it was built pre-ADA. To enter we had to climb a set of steps. Guides from the museum followed us with a hand ramp and made sure every accommodation was made to the power chair through the exhibits. 25 years ago these accommodations may not have existed. Today, thanks to the ADA, it’s the norm.”
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