David and Zach Quest to Sac

Linda Burton posting from Sacramento, CaliforniaDavid Mensch is a 52-year-old father who visited the capitol today with his 15-year-old son Zach. That may not seem unusual, until you hear the rest of the story. David and Zach’s appearance at the West Steps was the culmination of a 300-mile journey from Bakersfield to Sacramento. Three hundred miles in five days, that is, with David in a motorized wheelchair, and Zach riding alongside on his bike.

David, you see, has cerebral palsy. When he was born in 1960, he didn’t start breathing right away, and his parents were told he was brain damaged and should be put in an institution. They kept him at home, and raised him with his three siblings.

Today he is employed at the Kern Assistive Technology Center in Bakersfield, where he helps others find the correct assistive technology to communicate, use a computer, or other activities they cannot do on their own. “For the last 10 years, I have wanted to ride my wheelchair from Bakersfield to the state capitol,” said David. “I have a passion for the work I do because I use technology every day and I know how it has changed my life.”

David hopes to raise money for the center – at least $100,000 – and he wants to show that people with disabilities can do anything they set out to do. State budget cuts to services for the disabled are having a serious impact on real people, and the journey to the capitol seeks to focus attention on that issue.

The Bakersfield community rallied around, purchasing a top of the line wheelchair for David, outfitting son Zach with a road bike and gear. And the “David and Zach Quest to Sac” arrived at 2 PM today to a round of applause, welcoming speeches, a bank of cameras, and a nicely-framed Senate Resolution acknowledging their accomplishment signed by Senator Jean Fuller.

You can make a donation and read more about David and Zach and their Quest @ http://www.kernatcenter.org/david-and-zachs-quest-to-sac/

I stumbled onto this gathering by accident this afternoon, and wanted to share their story with you.