Darlene Borland, diagnosed with multiple sclerosis since 1995, has come up with an innovative way to blend fashion with function with her "Kickin Cane Covers." This is her story.
I was diagnosed in 1995 with MS. In 2000 I was forced into a wheelchair. When I was able to walk again, it was only with the help of using a cane. I was discouraged by the plainness of canes and wanted to change the look of them. I had this idea of dressing up my cane to match my outfit.
Friends and family finally encourage me to make my idea a reality. The designs/fabric/colors are limitless. After a few covers I decided to add a little bit of "scrunch" in my covers so it wasn't flat to the cane. Many times people would stop me and asked where I got my cane. This is when I decided to put a name to my cane covers and "Kickin Cane Covers" was discovered.
Since then my story has been covered in the Nisqually Valley News. My canes were putting smiles on people's faces--my canes were turning a negative into a positive. My disability was now an ability to help myself and others going through issues with walking and balance.
One day I was at Costco and a gentleman came up to me and told me that he wanted the same cane for his daughter, who was my age and was dying from breast cancer and had to use a cane. I was so sad for him that as my husband and I were leaving Costco, we turned around and gave him the whole cane and cover for his daughter with tears overflowing, realizing that hey, someone has it worse off.
Because of my disability, it is now possible for me to be able to make a difference in some people's lives. It's not so much a business but a direction. My husband and I make each of the cane covers individually with love and care.