Meet RAMP's CEO
Meet Our CEO/Founder/People Connector
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RAMP CEO & Founder
Hello, my name is Tina Guenette-Pedersen, a motivational speaker, national podcast host who currently is CEO, President and Founder of a national non-profit, RAMP real access motivates progress. I am a 4x cancer 4x stroke 2x heart attack survivor who 8 years ago walked into a minor procedure and suffered a stroke to my spinal cord, now paralyzed from the waist down. I didn’t let that stop me instead persevered and learned to navigate the world with her positive attitude. I devote my life to helping others by raising awareness of accessibility for all. From talking to school age children on introduction to engaging the disability community to bullying and dealing with life’s curve balls, I work with all businesses, professions and first responders on all areas of communication and best practices of working to include the disability community. I sit on the Governor’s commission on disability as Vice Chair and Chair of the Awareness committee. Also, works directly with the Governor, Lt Governor and all the US delegation to make change and a difference. Using my national nonprofit, I love to promote business, organization and resources from across the country.
I would love the opportunity to share my story, meet new people and advocate for all. I am currently the first person of physical disability to win a National title for the USA SLICC Ambassador organization. (Success through Leadership Integrity character and confidence). Top prize was mission trip to one of 26 locations in the world, which i will be attending in May 2023. I have a year with my crown to promote my platform and help others along the way. It’s all based on community service and to date, in the last year I have completed 4735 community service hours. Community service isn’t something I do it’s all part of my DNA. It’s just who I am at the very core. Quote from a supporter: “With all she has been through in her life, to get up every day with a positive attitude and to help others is a true testimony of the type of person she really is all around. Tina will do great things, and everyone should follow in her footsteps.” If you would allow me to visit and promote your program would be my honor.
From My Perspective
Episode 1 - Sickness
You wake up and realize you have anything from a simple cold to the flu. Your head hurts, off balance, possible both ends have turned on you and you need to make a run to the bathroom.
Now take away your legs (you can’t run), you need to transfer into a wheelchair, roll to the bathroom, transfer to the throne (if ya make it in time), then do it all in reverse and repeat as needed.
Being paralyzed you are a perpetual gambler: will I make it or will I not?
You pray sometimes you only need a bucket by your bed, then again it’s just out of reach and you gamble to stretch and fall off said bed.
Now you're already weak, sore from falling, and will take you even longer to get back up in chair to bed. You give up, grab your blanket, and just lay on the floor for the duration.
So the next time you are feeling sick 🤢 realize it could always be worse. I do the same for I could not be fortunate enough to even be able to transfer or get myself off the floor at some point.
Life is all about perspectives and realizing how blessed you are with what you can do.
Episode 2 - Discharge From the Hospital
Since I have been in the hospital, I have had two roommates both older than me and for the most part able to get around. They made us keep the curtain closed so we limited exposure (which we are in a small room and both tested positive so there’s that.)
Both were released before me. Their procedures had to do several walks up and down the corridor to ensure their oxygen was dropping too rapidly, both told to get up and move around slowly to keep everything moving, to not over lift anything and to change positions as much as possible.
My procedure obviously can’t walk so asked should I roll a wheelchair to see my stats? (was told not needed). Should I be moved to sitting up in a chair? (nope) you don’t need 24/7 care but don't lift anything or strain. Well just transferring to the toilet, my chair, my bed, my couch etc., I’m lifting my own body weight several times a day. Yeah, don’t do that I’m told. So, what do I do? Just stay in your chair. Can’t sleep or use the bathroom from my chair. Well, you can’t overdo it so you will have to figure something out. Should I be moving around or small exercises to keep everything moving? No, you don’t have to. Just rest. You can’t expect too much.
Even healthcare needs to understand different abilities and different care and procedures. It’s sad that we are just sort of written off and left to our own devices to ensure full recovery. Advocate for yourself, listen to what’s going on around you and make sure you find a way to prove them all wrong. #RAMPisinclusion #RAMPredbag
Episode 3 -Mental Health, Accessibility and What NOT to Do
This contains a tip EVERYONE should know. Please read.
When anyone has a medical emergency and a rescue needs to be called, it’s stressful, scary, and the patient feels vulnerable. Now add the patient is a wheelchair user. This brings on a whole other layer of stress and vulnerability for you are completely at the mercy of others even when the initial emergency is over. The rescue takes only the patient and not the wheelchair on transportation.
When I just had my long hospital stay, I asked every shift, every nurse or doctor to please put a wheelchair in my room and explained why. The only time we use the word "confined" is to the bed, chair, or anywhere when no wheelchair is in arms reach. We are never confined to our wheelchairs. For us it’s freedom, security, and a way to take care of ourselves. It is overly mentally stressing when you look over and you realize there is no way out in case of an emergency (because you know those that can get themselves out will be addressed first) or have an unruly roommate (anyone who has spent significant time in a hospital has had that experience least once).
I explained that mental health is directly connected to our physical health and looking over and not having the security of seeing the wheelchair is taxing on the mind. Every nurse, doctor, and support staff understood what I was saying. They agreed with how helpful that would be and said they would bring one right away. One never arrived to my room leaving me completely at the mercy of an overworked and busy staff knowing I was trapped. This should have never happened.
We as wheelchair users often transfer out of our chairs at home (no, we don’t sleep in our chairs) or to be more comfortable on the couch. We also may transfer out of them at a restaurant or movie venue or the beach to fully emerge in the event.
Here is the IMPORTANT TIP: NEVER move the wheelchair away from the user EVER for any reason. What you need to know is this chair is never in our way. It may be uncomfortable to you to see or feel you're helping but what you're actual doing is causing anxiety and stress to the user. If we can’t see it, touch it, or access it, we are trapped. If an emergency arises (and yes, could happen at any time - that's why it’s called an emergency) we need to be able to help ourselves. Not waiting on anyone. Just imagine you're at an event and a fire starts or a shooting happens and you're tied to a chair with nowhere to go.
It’s bad enough most places only have one way in, which means one way out, and this is usually through a back entrance. But at least we can fend for ourselves and have a chance to move around to a better spot or shelter during the emergency. Do you really think if a fire or something happens anyone will be in a state of mind to go to another room, grab wheelchairs, and deliver them to the owners? Or be able to get to the back of the theatre when everyone is in panic mode running out?
So please again NEVER, move a wheelchair into another room, the back of a theatre, or as you think out of the way. You will be causing stress, anxiety, and pure panic to the user. They may be nice and quietly say ok for they know it’s being moved for others comfort not them but PLEASE PLEASE DON’T DO THIS!! #RAMPisinclusion #RAMPredbag
Episode 4 - Random Acts of Kindness
Today is National RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS DAY!!
Do something special for a total stranger, family or friend.
Hold a door, have a listening ear or just share a smile. You have no idea how much a small gesture could change their day.
If someone is sick, show up with a meal, or to do some light cleaning. Never wait for the call of help it won’t come.
If someone is sad, send a card, make a call or show up for a visit. Let them know they are not alone.
There are so many ways every day we can make a difference. Don’t waste that opportunity for it not only helps someone else, it also fills your heart and changes you for the better.
Next time it could be you on the receiving end!!
#WorldKindnessDay #Bekind #RAMPisinclusion #RAMPredbag #worldambassadororganization