Attorneys Robert Berchem (left) and Bryan LeClerc (right) present Meg Moore with her new wheelchair
Twenty-year-old Fairfield University sophomore Meg Moore was born with cerebral palsy, but that hasn’t stopped her from being a leader on the Fairfield University campus. Meg is a straight-A Dean’s List student, participates in the varsity pep band, is a campus ministry lector, and a member of the university’s literary club. She recently founded the Yes-You-Can Club to provide support for cancer patients and disabled people throughout Fairfield County. And, despite her disability, she never loses her positive attitude and amazing smile.
Meg’s seven-year-old wheelchair, which she had outgrown, was literally held together with duct tape and bungee cords. Learning of her need for a new chair and a fundraising effort by campus public safety officers, Attorneys Robert Berchem and Bryan LeClerc took charge to make Meg’s dream become a reality. They represented the Moore family pro-bono, negotiated with the manufacturer and vendor to obtain a deeply discounted price, and secured substantial contributions from several donors. The new state-of-the-art chair allows Meg to both remain pain-free throughout her busy day, as well as rise to a standing position to better participate in her classes. The chair, which retails for $60,000, and is blue tooth compatible, has headlights, and travels up to 7.5 miles per hour.
“This is truly a heartwarming story about how a community joined together to help a student in need,” said Bryan LeClerc, a 1984 graduate of Fairfield University. “When Bob and I learned of the on-campus fundraising efforts, we were compelled to get involved and use our skills and contacts to make Meg’s dream become a reality’” LeClerc added.
On Friday, March 31, the Fairfield University community witnessed a motorcade of six police vehicles from the Town of Fairfield Police and University Public Safety Departments surprise Meg with the new chair. More than 100 students, faculty and staff were present on a rainy day to cheer the arrival.
Overwhelmed with emotion, Meg, who is unable to speak, typed a message on her speech-generating device, saying that she was totally unsuspecting and incredibly grateful. “After spending over a year fighting for this wheelchair, it is such a relief to be able to sit and stand in a chair that fits and is actually comfortable,” Meg posted on her Facebook page. “I smiled, I laughed, I cried … feeling everything under the sun,” she added.
“Our 40 attorneys are deeply committed to giving back to the communities we serve, not only monetarily but through personal efforts” said Robert Berchem founder and senior partner at the statewide law firm Berchem Moses PC “As a proud alumnus of Fairfield University, Meg’s story touched my heart and I was very proud to be able to help her cause,” Berchem added.