Standing wheelchair delivered to cashier with spina bifida at Canton Giant Eagle

CANTON, Ohio - On Giving Tuesday, a 39-year-old Stark County man with spina bifida was grateful for what he received.

A standing wheelchair was delivered to Richard McCully at Giant Eagle on Raff Road in Canton, where he works as a cashier.

"It means a lot that you find so many people that care," McCully said.

McCully has worked at the store for seven months, but he said the job was becoming too hard because his previous standing model wheelchair became outdated and didn't have a specialized strap to reduce the intense pressure he felt while reaching for items at the register.

"He was in such excruciating pain before that he wanted to quit," said Tammi Swint from Stark County Board of Developmental Disabilities. "I feel at peace because I can look at him and I see that he is not in pain anymore."

On Tuesday morning, representatives from The Standing Company, The Arc of Ohio, Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, Stark County Board of Developmental Disabilities, and the Ohio Waiver Program visited the store to watch McCully try out his new standing wheelchair that is valued at $13,000.

However, McCully received the wheelchair at no cost through a Medicaid waiver.

Several of the organizations navigated a four-month process to find a provider to funnel the Medicaid dollars and obtain the wheelchair.

"It was very complicated. We had a lot of doors shut in our face," Swint said.

David Maczik, president of The Standing Company, said the new wheelchair allows for greater health and psychological benefits.

"People treat you differently when you stand up. People tell us that all the time," Maczik said. "With respect. Rather than looking down at a person, now all of sudden you're talking to them at eye level."

For McCully, it also further motivates him to work harder at a job he enjoys.

"My job means to me being independent," he said. "You can do anything if you set your mind to it."

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