Robert Berchem and Bryan LeClerc facilitate community’s purchase of state-of-the-art wheelchair for Dean’s List Student
04/19/2017 10:06 AM
Twenty-year-old Fairfield University sophomore Meg Moore was born with cerebral palsy, but that hasn’t stopped her from being a leader in the Fairfield University campus community.  Meg is a straight-A student and 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.

Meg’s seven-year-old wheelchair 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 insurance and manufacturing companies, and secured substantial donations to buy a new state-of-the-art chair at a deeply discounted price that allows Meg to rise to a standing position to better participate in her classes.  The chair retails for $60,0000 and is blue tooth compatible, has headlights, and drives up to 7.5 miles per hour.  Donations from an on-campus Super Bowl party and online fundraiser covered the remaining cost of the new wheelchair which was purchased for $40,000 thanks to the attorneys’ savvy negotiating skills.        

“Hundreds of people gave, some with as little as $5,” said Bryan Leclerc, a 1984 graduate of Fairfield University.  “This is truly a heartwarming story about how a community joined together to help a student in need,” LeClerc added.

On Friday, March 31, the Fairfield University community, led by a motorcade of six police vehicles from the Town of Fairfield Police and Public Safety Departments, surprised 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 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 & Devlin, P.C. “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.
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