Privileged to Tell the Stories – Chanda

In the last few months, I’ve had the privilege of interviewing and writing articles about several nonprofit agencies. Today, I contracted with a nonprofit to write up their Kickstarter page. (Kickstarter is a web-based means of raising funds for various projects, nonprofit and otherwise.) I can’t tell you what a blessing it is to be able to help promote some of these terrific organizations, several that I would not have known existed otherwise. In the process, I always get to hear the true heart of the leaders of these organizations and the passion they have for their particular cause. Today, I thought I’d share just a brief peek into some of those nonprofits that I’ve had the privilege to learn about and write about in the last few months. Today’s featured nonprofit is:

 

When you look into the face of Chanda Hinton Leichtle, you see vitality and radiant health; you see a young woman with passion and determination; you see a person of strength and purpose. If you glance down from her face, you will see her wheelchair, and you will realize that the goals of the nonprofit organization she founded and directs are rooted in her own personal story.
Chanda suffered a spinal cord injury at the age of nine, when she was accidentally shot in the neck by a young teenager with a .22 rifle. Her young life was changed forever through this accident. Besides the obvious issues of dealing with the lifelong disability from her severed spinal cord, Chanda experienced a continual cycle of secondary health conditions that gradually, over the next ten years, depleted her health and strength. At age 19, she was hospitalized, a skeletal figure, weighing only 59 pounds. Her primary physician feared for her life, but had exhausted all his resources and means of treatment without success. When Chanda’s sister Crystal suggested they try alternative treatment methods, he supported them in that exploration outside traditional Western medicine. In Chanda’s words, “It saved my life.”

 

What Chanda, and many like her, have discovered, however, is that Medicaid, which is the primary insurance that people with disabilities often have to turn to for healthcare expenses, will not fund many alternative treatments. Without insurance coverage or income to pay for these types of treatments, the pathway to health which Chanda discovered remains unreachable for the majority of the disabled.
The Chanda Plan Foundation is attacking these financial barriers from two main fronts: Partnering with treatment providers to provide no cost services to qualified recipients through their Quality of Life Program, and by advocating for changes in legislation at both the state and federal level that would provide insurance coverage for integrated therapies to the disabled community.

Chanda is living a life of purpose and fulfillment that she never dreamed she could have. Through the Foundation, she is providing new doors of hope, health and opportunity to others who can benefit from integrated therapies, just as she did.
Details about the fundraising events and information on how to donate to the Chanda Plan Foundation can be found on their website, www.thechandaplanfoundation.org, along with contact information for booking Chanda for speaking engagements.
{This is excerpted from my article in the Denver HerLife Magazine’s April 2012 issue.)

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