Life is not a flat spot.
No one knows that more than Ronda Phillips, 52, a double amputee, who has had more than her share of ups and downs the past few years.
While most people get a new set of legs yearly, Phillips, who’s known for helping out neighbors and friends herself, has been walking with the same prosthetic legs she got three years ago, because her co-pay is so high.
Pine Flat resident Helena Nerone launched a Gofundme.com fundraiser back in December and more than $5,045 of the $6,900 has been raised for Phillips’ new legs as of Monday morning.
Now, greater efforts are underway to help raise the remaining funds. Posters are going up and pins will be for sale that say “I Stand with Ronda” under an image of a Giant Sequoia. Donations are also still being taken at https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-ronda-phillips-afford-medical-expenses
And Phillips has been ramping up physically with help from Pine Flat resident Daniel Archuletta, 28, who visits her three days a week for strength training.
Among his goals is to have Phillips walking without her crutches.
“Ronda is doing great,” said Archuletta, who was in charge of the exercise program onboard his ship while in the Navy. “For now, we’re working on walking without crutches. I want to get to a point where she throws them out.”
They also will be working on fall recovery, which Phillips said is one of her biggest fears.
“If I fall outside, I don’t have any way to get up,” she said.
With Archuletta’s help, Phillips has already surpassed some of their goals, like walking unassisted across her front porch.
“I never thought I would be able to do that,” she said.
Archuletta said he pushes her to where it’s uncomfortable, but attainable.
“Every day is different and not everywhere in life can she find a flat spot,” he said.