This year I experienced a series of events which shined a spotlight on heroes in my life and things I am really grateful for.
I had a medical situation rear its ugly head starting at the end of February; I fainted in the early morning hours while at home. I did not drive for two weeks after that event for fear that something like that could happen behind the wheel. My doctor told me that it may have been caused by a virus and might be a one-time event, so I was good to drive.
Almost 3 weeks after the first event, I fainted while driving home from our iRide meeting location. My fellow rider and occasional iRide driver, Bryan, was one of my heroes that day; he was driving behind me when things went horribly wrong. Bryan was one of several people who helped get me out of my vehicle and called 911 after my vehicle came to a stop. Bryan's voice was a comfort as I regained consciousness because I recognized it.
After that event, I refused to drive until we figured out the cause of my fainting. For three weeks, Dan, another iRide van driver, was my hero by picking me up at home to get me to the van. His generosity eased a logistical challenge for my husband and I. Then on April 10, the unexpected happened. I suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. The fainting was ultimately a symptom of my heart not working as it should, resulting in a pacemaker. While in the ICU the morning of April 11, I reminded my husband to text Dan and let him know I would not need a ride.
The compassion shown by my iRide drivers and fellow riders is heartwarming. Fellow riders become family of sorts, and your heroes when you least expect it. I am grateful for them all.
I am grateful for the community service provided by MRTMA. I was already thankful for the iRide Vanpool before this event. I am a full-time employee of a communications company in Missoula and a full-time student pursuing my bachelor's in legal and paralegal studies. The vanpool gave me two hours a day of my life back by allowing me to work on homework while commuting. With my medical event, I am once again reminded how thankful I am for iRide. I have had a safe way to get to and from work while I'm unable to drive.
Thank you MRTMA, Bryan and Dan, you are all heroes of my story. I appreciate you.
The opportunity to be a Driver on the iRide system has made it possible and feasible for me to have regular and reliable transportation to and from work on a daily basis. I am so grateful for this means of transportation. It is nice to have a ride on iRide!
a vanpool participant (driver/rider), I appreciate the opportunity to spend time with folks I wouldn't normally run into, develop friendships, share in life's ups and downs, and learn new things. I know my husband appreciated my "down time" to sometimes vent about work BEFORE getting home.
As a driver, it's gratifying when the riders express their appreciation for the safe ride to work. And when they actually fall asleep and get a quick nap in on the way home while I'm driving - I know I'm doing something right!
I Have had the privilege of serving in the role of a van driver with MRTMA for over 20 years.
Why would that be a privilege you ask? Why would I take on the responsibility of making sure that the riders arrive at their work place and back safely each day? The answer to both questions is that I feel like I am making a difference. The thought of providing rides to 8 to 10 commuters a day means that that many cars are NOT on Highway 93 having to deal with traffic or omitting carbons into the air. It means that 8 to 10 people do not have to buy a parking pass or have to search for a parking spot at their work place.
Being a member of a vanpool has other perks as well. It is like having a second family. When someone is down and out or has a family member who is ill, the vanpoolers pitch in to assist. We share ideas about where to bank, who's the best dentist, and great places to eat and shop. We solve a lot of problems on the way to work or on the way home so that individuals don't have to bear the entire burden on their own. Vanpooling is a great way to commute - just ask those riding on van #1 and we will tell you our stories!
I have been using the iRide Vanpool to get back and forth to work for over 20 years. I work at UM and parking there is always hard to find but riding on the vanpool eliminates that problem by dropping me off close to my building each day. Over the years I have built many friendships with my fellow riders while we exchange ideas, talk about a myriad of subjects or even catch a nap before/after work. I would recommend this to anyone who is having to commute from the Bitterroot or other outlying areas. It convenient, cost effective and fun. Come join us!