BRAINTREE, Mass. - A women who uses a wheelchair said she has no choice but to take matters into her own hands and shovel her own path on sidewalks in Braintree. Now, her actions are inspiring others to get out and do the same, our news partners at the Patriot Ledger reported.
Crystal Evans, 33, suffers from a neuromuscular disease, which didn't stop her from starting a family or her own business.
"I started rolling down the sidewalk to her to the post office, and I looked back, and I saw a clear path," she said. "I said, 'I could clear the sidewalks for everybody.'"
Evans said a little snow wasn't going to slow her down.
"With a shovel, I can put it down between my legs and roll with the chair, and it clears a path," she said.
She has spent more than 100 hours since January making the sidewalks in her neighborhood passable, which, in turn, is inspiring volunteers to help out.
"They were working when a man and his family drove by and said, 'I'll be right back. I have a snow blower,'" she said.
Not surprisingly, Evans is part of a movement pushing to change the international handicap symbol from a passive person in a wheelchair to somebody in action and taking charge.
"There is so much stigma of what people believe a disabled person is, they don't expect us to be working. They don't expect us to be out in the community," she said.
Evans said it's not just about her.
"There are moms out here carrying infants on the icy sidewalks, because they can't push a stroller," she said. "There are elderly people who frequent that bus stop, because it's near a pharmacy."
Evans said sidewalks need to be more accessible for everybody, and she said during this winter, everybody can do their part and pitch in to help.