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Xavier student needs your help keeping his wheelchair charged

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Posted at 5:29 PM, Jul 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-22 21:19:00-04

CINCINNATI — WCPO is answering a call for assistance from a Cincinnati college student: Galen Spiegler said he needs help charging his wheelchair, and that could be life-changing for him.

“My chair is kind of a combination of a car, an office chair, an armchair and my legs,” said Spiegler. “It’s the most important machine in my life.”

He is an author who moved here from New Hampshire to get a master's degree at Xavier University. He wants to become a therapist.

“We, as a society, do a good job of covering the physical challenges of disability,” said Spiegler. “So, I want to be a therapist who works with the mental side of disability.”

His family is helping move him into a new place, training nurses on his cerebral palsy.

However, the last remaining task is the act of physically plugging his wheelchair into the charging box. He posted an ad online asking for someone to do it every other night at 11:00.

He asked people to e-mail him if they can pitch in at

“In New Hampshire, I was living at home and working at home," he said. "So, my battery life was not a high priority. Now, I will be driving to school and driving to work, going on hot dates. So, I will need a good charge so I don't die in the middle of town.”

That’s where a group called May We Help said their team can provide a solution.

“I do think it's going to be a quick fix,” said executive director Rob Seideman.

Seideman said May We Help has 75 volunteers, including doctors, physical therapists, inventors, engineers and welders who design custom equipment.

“We’ve helped people with cerebral palsy play baseball and play golf," said Seideman. "We've helped them paint and fish and, of course, we've helped them be able to walk. So, when we're faced with a challenge like helping someone plug in their wheelchair, we know we've got that one covered."

May We Help also has a warehouse stocked with equipment ready to use.

“It's amazing to have people who are like, we got you,” said Spiegler.

Spiegler uses a computer to text friends. He’s taught himself to get into bed. That’s where that 11 p.m. plug-in time comes into play.

“When I was young, my parents put me to bed. But in college, I didn't want to go to bed at ten, because who does?” Spiegler laughed.

May We Help is on track to serve more than 400 clients this year. To reach a specialist who can connect you to the volunteers, call (513) 834-6443.