Paralympic athlete receives new wheelchair from Houston business

Jonathan Dieleman, a paraplegic swimmer for the 2016 Paralymics, received a new wheel chair worth $8000

(L-R) Jonathan Dieleman

Jonathan Dieleman, a paraplegic swimmer for the 2016 Paralymics, received a new wheel chair worth $8000 from Monster Industries from Houston and Hy-Tech Drilling from Smithers.

Dieleman went to Monster Industries looking for sponsorship and Kenny Thompson, operations manager of Monster Industries, said, “What do you need? And [Dieleman] said it would be fantastic to get a new wheelchair.”

Monster Industries thought it would be a great thing to fund and sponsored for half the cost, $4000, with Hy-Tech Drilling covering the remaining $4000.

When asked how Monster Industries hopes this new wheel chair will help and impact Dieleman, Thompson said, “It’s lighter, easier, more management. He showed me how he puts his wheelchair in his pick-up and pops the wheels off, and it looked like he was used to it, but this new wheelchair should just be phenomenal.”

“Jonathan came by the office, and although we don’t normally make donations to individuals, his passion and perseverance to get where he has inspired us to want to be a part of his dream,” said Beryl Mclellan, office manager of Hy-Tech Drilling.

Mclellan said that when considering donation requests they like to support material items that help encourage a healthy and active lifestyle throughout the Bulkley Valley.

“Helping Jonathan to purchase his new wheelchair will give him the ability to travel more easily, not only in his day to day life, but also when he’s heading off to compete at the world stage.”

Dieleman says the new wheel chair is custom fitted just for him.

“This time I know what I want for size, fit, and how it works. This one is set up better. It’s narrower, got a lower back, lighter—it is probably 10 pounds lighter than my other one. Overall it makes a huge difference on the comfort, fit, and the ease of getting around,” said Dieleman.

Dieleman’s former wheelchair is his, “around the farm chair. That’s the one I don’t mind if it breaks.”

After receiving sponsorship, and setting up ordering his custom wheelchair, it took about four months after that for his new wheelchair to come in.

“I started fundraising a year ago, and a hard time getting the funding. Then I went through a development coach in the paraplegic swim team and got the chair through her,” said Dieleman.

Dieleman says especially in Houston the support he has been receiving has been awesome.

Dieleman is a resident fo Quick who in May of 2010 was in a motorcycle accident which paralyzed him from the chest down. In 2016 he competed at the Paralymic Games in Rio de Janerio, Brazil and placed fifth in his category for swimming. Deileman is training for the 2020 Paralymic Games which will be held in Tokyo, Japan.

“It’s awesome getting the community support from companies and businesses around town that are willing to do this to make someone’s life better,” said Dieleman.