How One Amigo Owner Helps Families Navigate Through Healthcare Systems

Friendly Wheels, Issue 123

July 2018

Supporting Families in Many Helpful Ways

Shannon DeWall is an estate planning attorney in metro Detroit. She became a lawyer when she realized she had a knack for helping people navigate through complex systems.

She has been an Amigo owner since she was a child in elementary school. Shannon’s first Amigo was a salvaged, yellow Classic FD model.

“My grandpa had picked it up from the side of the road. Someone was retiring it, and it was a skeleton,” Shannon recalls. “My grandpa repaired it; we used a milk crate for the seat! But it was wonderful. While my friends were riding bicycles, I was riding my Amigo.”

Shannon uses a mobility aid because her legs stop at the knee. Her Amigo made getting out of the house much easier.

These experiences led to Shannon beginning her professional career in healthcare. She was a genetic counselor for 17 years before pursuing another way to help people.

“Families taking care of their loved ones need help navigating through complex systems, whether in healthcare or with legal systems, and I realized I could do that,” Shannon says.

Shannon and her husband, Allen, were married in 2008—celebrating 10 years this year! They welcomed their first child, Noah, not long after. Noah was nine months old when Shannon was accepted into the Western Michigan University Cooley Law School and began attending classes at the Auburn Hills campus while working full-time.

As she entered her second year of law school, the DeWall’s found out they were expecting their second baby, Elijah.

“It was a memorable, exciting and busy time. My husband was incredibly supportive,” Shannon adds.

Shannon received the highest grade in her class for Property Law, Estate Planning, and Michigan Legal Research. She graduated in the top 15 percent of her class.

What followed next was starting her own firm in Livonia, Michigan. The Law Office of Shannon DeWall, PLLC specializes in Wills, Trusts, and Special Needs Planning, and Elder Law.

Her advice for people with mobility challenges who may want to get out and help others but worry about needing help themselves is that: “Everybody can help somebody. From a kind word to visiting someone, a little support can make a big impact.”

Currently Shannon is creating a network of volunteers to visit people living in adult foster care homes.