ELYRIA, Ohio, April 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Invacare Corporation (NYSE: IVC), the global leader in home and long-term care medical products, today is launching "Real Life," a new campaign dedicated to raising awareness of the everyday struggles and achievements of those living with disabilities, ailments or advancing age. For these individuals, even "ordinary" tasks like getting dressed, preparing for the day ahead, caring for children, driving a car or going to work can require extraordinary effort — yet few people are aware of these everyday struggles and achievements. Invacare has created this awareness campaign and platform so that people can share their 'real life' stories — or the story of someone who inspires them — for a chance to win cash prizes for themselves and the charity of their choice.
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"'Yes, you can.' comes in many forms, from winning a gold medal to being able to go to your grandson's soccer game, and that is the spark behind the Real Life campaign," said Lou Slangen, senior vice president, corporate marketing and chief product officer. "People are incredibly resilient and they surprise you. Through the Real Life campaign, we want to share these stories of 'Yes, you can.' and perseverance with the world."
One Story at a Time...About the Real Life Campaign
Invacare is launching the campaign online, creating a digital forum through YouTube, Facebook and Flickr. The Real Life campaign seeks to celebrate the life stories of those living with a disability, advanced age or ailment. People are invited to capture their story or the story of someone who inspires them, in video or photo form, in the hopes of educating people around the world about what is possible. Participants are able to submit their video or photo entry during the contest period by visiting www.invacare.com/reallife and clicking "ShareYour Story."
Profiles of Real Life
Paul Schulte is one individual who wants to ensure that these achievements are being recognized. After being injured in a serious car accident at age 10, Schulte was left paralyzed from the waist down. However, his love for sports and unwavering courage brought him back to the basketball court as a teenager. He later played for the United States Men's Basketball Team in the Paralympics, including the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing. He has been recognized globally, earning several gold, silver and bronze medals.
"When Invacare first approached me about it, I loved the idea," said Schulte, Paralympic gold medalist and design engineer at Invacare's sports and recreation division, Top End. "If I could go back in time and whisper over my 10-year-old shoulder, I would say, 'It's okay. All of your dreams can still come true.' Today I am an athlete, a husband and a new father. I hope 'Real Life' will get those words to a new audience of people who may be struggling."
The campaign features the stories of many others, including those dealing with trials related to advancing age. This includes 87-year-old Louise Gustafson, who after months of physical therapy following a car accident took a trip to Tanzania to revisit the boys' school where she was once a missionary.
Win and Give
Three stories will be selected to win $3,000 for the creator of the entry, with $6,000 donated to the charity of their choice. The contest will run from April 4 – June 30, 2011. The Real Life campaign aims to inspire those who use products like oxygen, wheelchairs and walkers and think they can no longer live their life to the fullest. The campaign hopes to bring these voices of triumph and perseverance together to make a difference and affect change.
For more information about the Real Life campaign, visit: www.invacare.com/reallife, and follow the campaign on Facebook: www.facebook.com/invacarecorporation, Flickr: www.flickr.com/groups/invacarereallife and YouTube: www.youtube.com/invacarereallife.
Invacare Corporation (NYSE: IVC), headquartered in Elyria, Ohio, is the global leader in the manufacture and distribution of innovative home and long-term care medical products that promote recovery and active lifestyles. The Company has 6,300 associates and markets its products in 80 countries around the world. The Company was named to the 2010 Fortune 1000 list and to the 2010 IndustryWeek U.S. Manufacturing 500. For more information about the Company and its products, visit Invacare's website at www.invacare.com.
SOURCE Invacare Corporation