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The Joseph Groh Foundation | Grant Recipient | Josh's Story

Nov 22, 2021

After Josh Shumaker graduated high school in 1997, he worked two summers as a drafter at CM Engineering in Columbia, Missouri while attending Linn State Technical College. When he graduated from Linn State in 1999 with an Associate’s degree in design drafting, he continued with CM Engineering full time. While working there, he drew mechanical and electrical plans primarily for commercial buildings.

On November 1, 2001, Josh's life changed dramatically. He was ejected from his truck while involved in a motor vehicle accident, leaving him critically injured.


Josh Shumaker Pictured Above

The accident crushed his T-1 vertebrae, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down. He also suffered a collapsed lung, a broken collarbone, and several broken ribs. For the next 10 months, Josh was in rehab and returned to CM Engineering in November 2002. He continued working there until 2018, when he made the move to Mid Missouri Engineering Alliance where he is still employed.

After 16 years, Josh said it was time to find a new vehicle. He was able to save up for the vehicle, but the cost of putting in driving controls and a lift for his wheelchair was unattainable. The cost of the vehicle's accessibility features alone would be around $48,000. Hoping to find additional funds, Josh began online research for organizations that could help and found The Joseph Groh Foundation. He also contacted the Travis Roy Foundation and the Missouri Department of Vocational Rehabilitation for assistance.

Thanks to the continued support of Daikin and other generous donors, the foundation was able to help Josh.

Both the Missouri Department of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Travis Roy Foundation came through with grant assistance, so between the three Josh was able to secure the required $48,000 in funding for the vehicle renovation. “Paralysis has many side effects, and my out-of-pocket medical expenses run about $1000 per month,” Josh told us. “That doesn’t leave much extra at the end of the month when trying to live independently on your own. My nearest family is almost 3 hours away, so having a reliable vehicle to go to work and handle day-to-day needs is a must.”


Interior of Josh's new Adapted Vehicle

“Right now, it takes roughly 15 minutes each time I get in or out of my truck, which leaves me in the rain, snow, cold or heat for most of that time. This new lift system is covered from the elements and cuts the time to more like 15 seconds! I pass up a lot of activities because of the time it takes to get in and out of my current truck, so this would be a major improvement,” Josh continued. When the funding was finalized in order for Josh to have the work completed, he said, “Finally a light at the end of the tunnel! Thank you so much for all your help in making this a reality. This will absolutely change my life.”

Josh's story is made possible through the generous donations made to the Joseph Groh Foundation. Light your beacon for others and become a Joseph Groh Foundation Luminary today.