YOU CAN HELP by sponsoring A RIDE

To get the items that they need most ,such as Rx, doctor appointments, grocery shopping, etc.,

Make a financial donation ($25 - $250 Uber increments).

Donate to FWD and we can purchase the gift card, for you on your behalf.


Topic: Can We Talk
Time: May 28, 2021 07:00 PM America/Detroit

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 919 3482 1363
Passcode: 462160

Friends with Disabilities is excited to share a great video by A. Rashid Deme.

FwD has been featured in Second Wave Media.


FwD  is a  501 (c) 3 non-profit Community Benefit Organization, (CBO).


**Message from CEO**

Friends with Disabilities would like to thank our participants for showing strength in the uncertainties of the year 2020. Even though we were venerable to the COVID -19, you connected and communicated with us. It demanded our leadership to act and to do it quickly.

Friends with Disabilities is a part of the disability community and we are with you!

Friends with Disabilities received 168 calls last year regarding immediate needs, such as supplies to remain safe, transportation to pick up medicines, food, and someone to understand and to just talk. May June and July were remarkably busy for the organization. When you find a unique opportunity to make a real difference, you focus on it and constantly reassess results.

 We relied on the resources available in our area as well as using donated items and emergency needs funding.

Friends with Disabilities discovered during this pandemic, that we have unreported needs in services for people with disabilities, especially people of color who are disabled.

FWD unapologetically confirmed that more needs to be done for and by people with disabilities . This is not in isolated to Kalamazoo, but this is an issue in many places around the world.

We must listen to those who are disabled and have them be a part of  the decision-making bodies!

Remember the  only thing that is constant is change, so let us continue building connections! 

Sharmese Anderson, CEO

Paul Mayfield, Operations Director/ZOOMCAST

Highlights from 2020

FwD Podcasts began.
Two episodes are available.

FwD New Website was launched.

5/19 Meet & Greet via Zoom COVID-19 zoom resource Series

6/2 I asked the therapist with Dr. Bernice Patterson
6/9 adapting to the new normal
6/16 Community resource sharing
6/23 staying safe

7/28 how to register to vote and the 2020 census via zoom

8/25 Lakeview park included games and catered lunch

9/11 LIVE Entertainment w/ FwD featuring DJ short-e
and comedian, Don Mayfield
9/29 how to make healthy meals with pantry staples
partnered with community health, equity and inclusion department
at Bronson wellness Center

10/13 Bowling (15) attended
10/29 Galesburg- Ziplining, nature trail bonfire ( Cancellation) COVID 19

11/17 Board Of Directors Meeting appointed
new Vice President, Charmise Knox, and new secretary , Holly Dunigan

12/11 – Holiday Celebration ( ZOOM) (Edye Hyde Evans- Jazz Singer)
(23 attended)


To reach out to the community of individuals with disabilities in order to educate and promote inclusion.

``Inclusion Starts With You``


Individuals over the  age of 18 with a physical disability!

A disability is a natural part of the human condition, a state we can move in and out of as our life progresses. Disability is something people experience, not something they are. People experience disability on a continuum, from mild and temporary, to severe and lifelong.  Many people who experience disability might not consider themselves ‘disabled.’  For these reasons, we describe disability as a functional limitation, rather than a specific diagnosis. One in four Michigan residents has such limitations.  There is currently a disparity, or inequality, in health status between people who have disabilities, and people who don’t.

For example:

  • Nearly half of people with disabilities describe their health as fair or poor. Only 8% of people without disabilities describe their health this way.
  • People with disabilities acquire many chronic conditions (like diabetes, heart disease, and depression) at about three times the rate of people who do not have disabilities.
  • People with disabilities report significantly higher rates of obesity, smoking, and physical inactivity.

These disparities exist in part because there are barriers for people with disabilities in obtaining the information, activities and services that are necessary to achieve and maintain good health.

(Michigan Dept of Human Services (MDHS)- Strategic Plan2016-2018)

Resource Based:

FwD will provide a resource base that will create an atmosphere  where everyone will feel comfortable and cared for. The overall goal is to provide an opportunity for individuals with disabilities to live a gainful life while struggling through daily challenges.



  • CREATE an overall positive and exciting environment through activities and events.
  • LEARN more about disability issues.
  • TEACH the greater community proper etiquette when dealing with special populations.
  • BUILD connections and support systems that will foster life-long relationships.

Community Resources

1.  If you are in need of food and delivery please call: Loaves & Fishes
(269) 343-3663

2.  Kalamazoo Mental Health Assistance (medicaid and/or Medicare)
(269) 373-6000

3. (Now accepts EBT)
For Food pick-up & delivery  1-800-925-6278

HIGHLIGHTS ON Physical Disabilities

Highlight for the month of June - MIGRAINES

Migraine is not just a bad headache. It’s a disabling neurological disease with different symptoms and different treatment approaches compared to other headache disorders. The American Migraine Foundation estimates that at least 39 million Americans live with migraine, but because many people do not get a diagnosis or the treatment they need the actual number is probably higher.

What Are the Common Symptoms of Migraine?

How can you tell if your head pain is actually migraine? The symptoms vary from person to person. But if you agree with some or many of the statements below, your head pain may be migraine and you should think about seeing a doctor.

  • Your head pain is moderate or severe and often intense. The pain may be hard to endure and may be unbearable.
  • The pain may be on one side or the head or both. It could be in the front or in the back. Some patients experience migraine in or around their eyes and behind their cheeks.
  • Your head pain causes a throbbing, pounding, or pulsating sensation.
  • Your head pain gets worse with physical activity or any movement.
  • You experience nausea and/or vomiting
  • You are sensitive to light, noise and/or smells.
  • Your head pain is severe enough to make you miss school, work or other activities (or it keeps you from being at your best when you do those activities).
  • A migraine attack lasts anywhere from four hours to several days.

Some people have migraine with aura. The most common type of aura is visual (flashes of light, blind spots, shapes or bright spots). Aura can also cause blurred vision or loss of vision. Typically, aura occurs before the head pain of the attack begins, and fully resolves in an hour or less.

Migraine can be classified as episodic or chronic. People with episodic migraine have 14 or fewer headache days per month. People with chronic migraine experience more than 15 headache days per month (for three or more months) with at least eight that include migraine features (see above). In some people, episodic migraine can become chronic, which may happen if it’s not recognized and treated correctly.

What Does An Attack Look Like?

There are four distinct phases of a migraine attack: prodrome, aura, headache, postdrome. You don’t have to experience all the phases. In fact, only about 20% of people with migraine have an aura. Understanding the phases can help you manage the disease better.

The prodrome and aura phases usually occur before the headache develops. Prodrome may precede the migraine attack by several hours or even days. Typical prodrome symptoms include extreme tiredness and yawning, irritability or moodiness, difficulty concentrating, and food cravings. About 75% of people with migraine experience a prodrome—but often they don’t recognize it as the beginning of an attack. Aura is rarer and usually begins just before the headache starts. Most people experience changes in their vision, while others notice tingling, numbness or trouble speaking.

These symptoms can serve as a warning sign and allow you to take acute medication before the headache begins. Identifying and treating a migraine early can even help prevent further symptoms in some people.

The headache phase of an attack typically involves pain on one or both sides of the head and lasts from several hours to three days but can also include nausea, vomiting or sensitivity to lights and noises. The final phase of an attack, called postdrome, is also sometimes called the “migraine hangover” and 80% of people with migraine experience it. Symptoms of postdrome include fatigue, body aches, trouble concentrating, dizziness and sensitivity to light.

What Causes Migraine?

The causes of migraine aren’t really clear, but genetics and environment do play a role. Migraine often runs in families, so there’s likely a hereditary link.

Most people with migraine will have spontaneous attacks, meaning there is nothing they did or didn’t do to trigger the attack. This is just how the disease behaves. Some people will have attacks that have an identifiable cause. Everyone has different triggers. But there are a few common culprits that affect a large number of people. Common triggers include stress (good or bad), certain foods, skipping meals, alcohol, sleeping too much or too little, changes in weather or barometric pressure, hormonal changes in women, concussions and traumatic brain injuries.

While migraine can affect people of any gender, sex, age, race, ethnicity, or background, it’s especially common in women. Three times more women live with this disease than men, and research shows that hormones play a role. Girls are more likely to start experiencing attacks when they get their first period, and migraine in women is most common during their childbearing years.

How Is Migraine Diagnosed?

There’s no blood test or scan (ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI) that will tell your doctor if your head pain is migraine. The only real way for your doctor to know is to talk to you. They need to get information about the specifics of your head pain, your response to current and previous treatments, your family history, and how your head pain affects your daily functioning and quality of life.


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251 North Rose Street, Suite 200
Kalamazoo, Michigan 49007