A great update in Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota's fight for more adult changing tables in bathrooms
MINNEAPOLIS -- There's a great update to a story we reported a year ago.
In February 2022, WCCO profiled Linda Hood. A 3M scientist, marathoner, and woman who climbed Kilimanjaro, Hood was climbing another battle: She became paraplegic in 2018
Doctors think undercooked chicken caused a rare autoimmune disease, Guillain-Barre.
RELATED: Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota Fighting For More Accessibility In Bathrooms
She is a fighter as her husband explained - and she quickly won the crown last year - of Miss Wheelchair Minnesota. Linda, a big Vikings fan, hoped the "powers that be" at U.S. Bank Stadium would listen to her.
Well, in February, WCCO got a call from Lisa Niess at US Bank Stadium, she had some really good news. Linda Hood and WCCO crew Joe Berglove and Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield showed up to see what had unfolded at the stadium.
"I have been in a wheelchair since 2018, so this is a new experience for me," she said.
It's an experience that's been outright disgusting at times.
"I went to the bathroom and realized there's no place for me to get undressed, there's no tables for me. I have to get on the floor, I felt humiliated," she said.
That's why, as Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota, she made a mission to get adult changing tables in more places, starting with U.S. Bank Stadium.
John Drum works with ASM Global as the General Manager of US Bank Stadium. He explained to WCCO what struck him about Linda's story.
"That the need was there, and Linda conveyed her passion for this project and knowing that she's been in touch with a lot of people who have the same needs as her," Drum said.
Drum showed Hood the stadium's newest amenity.
"I mean the anticipation of it all," she said. "I'm ready!"
She looked around the bathroom and saw the state of the art adult changing table
"Look - look at this table! Oh my goodness - look - I'm not on the floor --- a table," she said. "Look at this - this is so nice, this is the state of the art, this is nice! No more changing on the floor, no more changing on the floor."
Drum said it's a "huge step forward" for the stadium.
"Not to say a journey completed, but a significant part of that journey accomplished," Drum said.
"It brings tears to your eyes, it makes you feel human, it makes you feel included. We should not be on the floor, everybody should be able to use the bathroom with dignity. Kids can use this, adults can use this, this is all that I need," Hood said.
Afterword, Drum said, "Just seeing the smile on Linda's face - it told the story."
"It was over $30,000 when you look at the whole project from start to finish," he said, and was then asked if it was worth it, "After seeing Linda's face today, obviously."
A face that beamed, as she showed off the new digs to her husband.
And now, in all of the Vikings' stadium, the most unsuspecting room is the most beautiful one.
"It's a marvelous day, this is a day I will remember forever. This is a highlight of my life," she said.
Now, Hood is far from finished. She wants adult changing tables in all large buildings in Minnesota. She also wants them in all major stadiums - her next goal is to get one in So-Fi Stadium in her hometown of Los Angeles.
If you are interested in helping Hood lobby for more changing tables, you can mailto:email@example.com.
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