Daniel Litzenberg served in the Marine Corps from 1988 – 1992 and is a veteran of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 2006 which was later determined to have been service related. In 2007, Litzenberg became disabled by the progression of MS.
Daniel and his wife of 20 years live in Oceanside where they are active in their local church and are raising their 14 year old son. Daniel enjoys being outdoors and participates in Wheelchair Tennis San Diego matches. Since requiring the use of a wheelchair, however, he missed many of the outdoor activities that he was used to, like exploring rock formations and spending time on the beach.
Daniel and his family have always enjoyed the beach, but his wheelchair does not handle the sand. “We live 15 or 20 mins away from the beach here in San Diego County, but I wasn’t able to get on the beach with just my regular wheelchair, it was very limited. It would take one or two people pushing or pulling on the wheelchair to get me out where I was going.”
Daniel was recently introduced to The Independence Fund by a fellow veteran, he applied for a device and was approved. Given the option of several different devices, he chose the Zoom. “Once I saw what the Zoom could do, I thought, ‘that’s the mobility device that I want!’”, Daniel explained. “I used to go on hikes… when I saw the Zoom and saw I could do that (again), that narrowed down the choice to Zoom for me because it seemed like it could do a lot more of the types of off road activities that I was interested in as well as being able to do deep sand”.
Since receiving his Zoom a few months ago, Daniel has been able to attend several church related functions that took place on the beach. “After I got the Zoom, we had a beach clean up day and I was able to go out and help… I wouldn’t have been able to do that before…. There were sandy parts of the beach and parts with a lot of rocks and the Zoom was able to go over all of that without any problems, so that was really great.”
Daniel has enjoyed being able to interact with others and to be a part of things that had been completely out of reach before. “Some of the men got together to walk along the beach and pray, I wasn’t able to do that before, but with the Zoom I was able to go,” Daniel explained. “One of the best things about it is that you can be a part of things with other people, without that you’re kind of left in the car or left at home…. It just becomes something that you can’t even consider… now you have that option,” Daniel said of the Zoom.
In choosing one word to describe the Zoom, Daniel said, “liberating!”.