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DM airmen help patients at Banner UMC

Posted at 10:33 PM, Feb 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-11 10:39:30-05

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - We're in the hospital for chemo about 85% of the time. Rebecca Mader is just 8-years-old. In December, she had a tumor removed from her left leg. Rebecca was bound to a wheelchair until airmen from Davis-Monthan gave her the gift of mobility.

"Just the wheelchair alone is fine to go places, but if you add the pole, with the fluids and the chemo and the wheelchair its really hard for her to get in and out of the elevator and to get around people," said Rebecca's mom, Hanneke. "For her to get out of the wheelchair and on the lily pad, we can go wherever we want and I just need to pull it with one hand."
The lily pads were the solution. It's made of wood, decorated and sits on top of on IV pole.
"There's six points of contact under the base, it's two feet wide so it's pretty stable," said Master Sergeant Jamie Harwick. He, along with about 30 other airmen bought their own supplies, volunteered their time, and donated the lily pads to Banner University Medical Center.
The pads allow kids like Rebecca to get around a little more easily. 
"The nice thing is that because it's so colorful, you tend to forget all of this and you focus more on her," said Hanneke.
Each pad comes in different colors and designs, giving young patients another reason to keep smiling and keep fighting their battles. 
"The IV poles, it's so well balanced that I don't have to worry even going around corners, that she's gonna tip or anything. It's so safe for her to be down there." 
"They can still get pushed around, they feel like, I don't know, they feel special," said Harwick. "Because they get to get rides all over the place. I think it helps in their healing process."
Harwick hopes to get other hopsitals involved in the project. For more information, contact DM Public Affairs at 520-228-3406 or