My Microboard allows me to have a healthy, safe and active lifestyle

“Hi, my name is Paul Thomas and I have a rare disease called Glutaric Aciduria Type 1. This makes me literally, one in a million!” states Paul. Paul started his Microboard 15 years ago before receiving any funding. Paul’s dream was to move out of his family home right after high school, so his parents initiated the development of a Microboard. Obviously, this would take some planning, and financial support and Paul’s parents learned that a Microboard would be the best option to help him achieve his goal to live independently.
 
Before PPaul Thomas resizedaul had a Microboard he was very dependant on his parents. Paul grew up in Peachland but way up the mountain so visiting friends or participating in activities was limited unless his parents drove him. “Before having a Microboard I wasn’t very social” says Paul. “It was a long drive to get to my house and very few friends would make the trek and I wasn’t able to drive myself.” “My dream was to live in Kelowna, so I could be closer to my friends and participate in activities that I enjoy doing,” says Paul. Since having a Microboard and moving to Kelowna, Paul went from being lonely to developing a large social community.
 
Paul’s parents learned about Vela Microboards through family friends. They decided to create a Microboard because the other option was for Paul to manage everything himself. “This was an overwhelming thought. I didn’t want to have to look after everything” says Paul. Paul and his parents decided to set up a Microboard because Paul would be able to get the support he needs by dictating what he wants and not worrying about managing it.
 
By working with Vela, Paul’s parents were able to get the support they needed to help Paul set up a Microboard. Vela also helped Paul’s parents understand his funding and the correct questions to ask. Paul’s family always had, and still do have, ongoing support from Vela.
 
Paul would like to educate people who are just starting Microboards about how to transition their lives into having a Microboard and a self directed, independent lifestyle. “I would like to help the person understand how their life is going to change for the better. The benefits and the things they can look forward to. It can be scary because your life is changing and not everyone wants to move out from a comfortable, safe living situation at home. But it’s worth it! You must rely on support from someone else who aren’t your parents. Unlike someone without a disability you still need support, and it can be scary finding the right person who will support you like your family would” says Paul.
 
Paul currently lives in Kelowna with a caregiver who supports his ambitions to get out in the community. He spends his pastime wheeling around town, gardening, playing board games with friends and he just started practicing Jiu Jitsu. Paul runs his own business offering digitizing services where he converts old analog media (ex. family photos, old tapes) into a digital format (his business is called ‘The Digitizer’). “My Microboard supports my need to have a healthy, safe and active lifestyle. I am able to be in control of the life I choose” says Paul.