Most people spend their free time or day off going to the park, watching movies, or simply relaxing and taking a good nap. But a certain man wants to be productive during his free time – that’s why he goes to his shop to build wheelchairs.
Lance Greathouse, a metal artist, has been spending most of his free time creating motorized mobility chairs. He started building wheelchairs when his brother, Brent, was diagnosed with a rare form of Parkinson’s disease. Lance wanted his brother to have the coolest custom wheelchair.
But before Lance finished building the wheelchair, Brent passed away. In memory of his brother, the dedicated metal artist wanted to make more of these motorized chairs to give to other people who need them. He took it as his life’s mission.
And so, he began working with the Phoenix Veterans Association. He then realized that there are numerous veterans who are in need of mobility chairs.
According to Lance, lots of people think that veterans are readily given wheelchairs. But the sad truth is that these veterans need to wait for several years to get one. And that’s where he started to use his free time productively.
To provide wheelchairs for those who are in need of them, Lance used donated wheelchairs and repaired them. He also purchased some of them in thrift stores. Each of these chairs was completely refurbished before they were given to the veterans or other people with physical limitations.
But there was a time that Lance needed a welder to weld a number of aluminum wheelchairs. Unfortunately, he did not have an aluminum welder.
Good thing Vern Lewis, owner of Vern Lewis Welding Supply, Inc., came to the rescue. Upon examining Lance’s existing welder, he said he could not modify it. So he contacted Jerry Siko, Lincoln Electric’s District Sales Manager Arizona Branch, and stated the problem.
Siko presented the need to his company. In just a short period of waiting, Lance received the MIG 210 welder as well as a small spool gun from Lincoln Electric. With his new welder, Lance was able to visit the homes of people who cannot get their wheelchairs to him for repair because it was portable enough for such activity.
Today, Lance already made and repaired hundreds of wheelchairs. Most of them were donated to veterans and other differently-abled individuals. With the help of his parents and a few volunteers, Lance continued his mission and worked with all his heart to help those in need of wheelchairs.