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Ron Ducovich: It Couldn’t Be Done Without… People like you!

November 29th, 2021

Ron Duchovic had been living with a neurological issue for over 35 years that affected his left arm and leg before he began using a power wheelchair full-time in 2013. Because he was spending more time in a seated position, he realized he needed a way to safely exercise -  it was suggested that he look into Turnstone’s Adaptive Fitness and Aquatics program at the Plassman Athletic Center.

Prior to his colleague’s recommendation, Turnstone and its programs were unknown to Ron and his family. However, after learning more, Ron, his wife, and mother-in-law all began using Turnstone’s Adaptive Fitness & Aquatics Center in 2015. “The whole intake process – concern about my wellbeing, what I’m doing for myself, and asking about my progression - was very helpful,” said Ron.

 Using Turnstone’s fitness center has been transformative for Ron as both his physical and mental health have been impacted by the ability to participate in the adaptive exercise. Due to COVID-19, he and his family have been unable to come to Turnstone. Ron said that at one point during the pandemic they received a check-in call from a Turnstone Fitness specialist. “We really appreciated the call and it spoke to the character of Turnstone. That’s what makes Turnstone a different place.”

After quickly becoming engaged with Turnstone and its staff, Ron was asked to serve as a client representative on the Program Committee. Before sitting in a wheelchair, Ron said he didn’t realize what it would be like to have a disability and wouldn’t have had the right perspective for the Program Committee. “Being engaged with the Program Committee has given me a much better understanding of the needs that are out there, but more importantly, the fact that there is a lot of human talent that could be engaged, but is often discarded or ignored.”

Ron became so inspired by the need for inclusivity in our community that when asked to join the Fort Wayne – Allen County Disability Advisory Council led by Mayor Tom Henry in 2017, he didn’t have to give it a second thought. As he is about to start his third term this winter, Ron is proud of all the council has been able to accomplish in its short life. One of their greatest feats has been creating more accessible parking spaces in downtown Fort Wayne.

“Being involved with Turnstone has made me more sensitive to the fact that there are diverse peoples who are part of our society. It has been a real benefit to realize all of these people make up an inclusive society and Turnstone is making the term inclusive society more than just a slogan.”

Because of people like Ron, Turnstone clients are given a safe place where they feel supported, included, and empowered to reach their highest potential.

We couldn’t do it without people like Ron who work towards creating an inclusive society where all people are treated with kindness and respect – an environment where there are no boundaries or limitations for people with disabilities.


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