Raising a child with disabilities is a challenge, but often the hardest thing for parents is to come up with the money for expensive medical equipment. Items like wheel chairs and walkers can cost thousands of dollars, with insurance only covering a small fraction. But these are also things that kids outgrow, which motivated parents Christy and Pete Kopp to launch Kids Mobility Network in 2005, a local organization that recycles durable medical equipment. Today they have helped over 1,000 families and counting, enabling greater safety, mobility and independence for their children with disabilities.
We sat down to learn more about Kids Mobility Network and how the organization has relied on community support to grow.
Q: How did the idea for KMN come to be?
Christy and Pete Kopp wanted to donate their daughter’s walker and found that there was no organization recycling children’s durable medical equipment. After some research, Kids Mobility was launched to help children with disabilities get the equipment that they need to live healthy, active lives. Children outgrow their equipment and then it sits idle. We knew that if there was a “network” of families helping each other that we could put these pieces back to work.
Q: What has been one of the most memorable moments in your your business?
Well there have been so many. We have seen children take their first steps in our office, ride a bike for a first time and sit upright without a parent’s support. We are so happy to provide supports to help children to be able to go to school, church and community activities.
Q: What is one of the biggest challenges of your business?
All of our operations are run on community donations. That is why community partners, like KD Kanopy are so important to keep our services running. We are able to serve more children with this support.
Q: Have you seen the support for KMN grow over the years?
Yes but there are always more families who need help. As we serve more families our name is getting out into the community creating more demand. Kids Mobility Network is the only organization providing this service in Colorado.
Q: What is something readers would be surprised to know about you or your business?
I think that most folks think that things like wheelchairs would be covered by insurance. This equipment is very expensive. A child’s manual wheelchair (without power) costs about $7,000. Insurance, (if a family has insurance) pays a fraction of the cost. The family must come up with the rest of the funds. This can be out of reach for many families. That is where Kids Mobility Network comes in.