Rachel was born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania with a rare form of muscular dystrophy. To date, only seven people have been diagnosed with this specific condition (including her late brother Dr. Mark Bookman) so there is little research and no treatment available.
A former high school science teacher and accomplished disability consultant, thought partner, and advocate involved in the collections of international and intersectional disability data, Rachel has collaborated with several organizations supporting people with disabilities and their care providers through digital storytelling projects, speaking engagements, and fundraising events.
Rachel graduated from the University of Miami in 2018 with a B.S. in Marine and Atmospheric
Science. She earned her Master of Education from West Chester University in 2022. In 2023, she
completed the eCornell Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion certificate program. Rachel works in concert with her father Dr. Paul Bookman, DMD. GLIDE FUND INC., a non-profit organization set up in memory of her brother.
Rachel has been a Numotion customer since she received her first wheelchair in 2016. “Numotion has been a pleasure to work with. Numotion’s convenience of home visits is incredibly helpful. Similarly, the myNumotion app is extremely helpful. When I needed repairs with my powerchairs, the app’s video calling diagnostic feature has been a game-changer in expediting part ordering and the repair process,” said Rachel.
With the custom features on her custom-fitted wheelchair, Rachel lives as independently as possible. “For all three of my wheelchairs, I was fitted for my equipment at Bryn Mawr Rehab with the physical therapist and Numotion specialist. Upon delivery, Numotion worked with the physical therapist/mobility specialist at Bryn Mawr Rehab to customize the chair to my exact measurements and dimensions down to the footplate height according to my preference for high heels! With my seat elevator, I can reach items that are high up, sit at high-top tables and bar/counter heights, and hold conversations in crowded rooms by speaking and hearing at eye level. The light package allows me to go out at night without fear and the USB port assures my phone always has a charge and prevents it from falling.”
Rachel enjoys being outside and going on adventures with her friends and her ADI Certified Mobility Assistance Service Dog, McQueen. McQueen and Rachel are coming up on a “3rd anniversary” together. “McQueen regularly helps me retrieve items that I drop. McQueen can bring me my “phone” and my “meds” from anywhere inside the house. He also helps me take off my socks, pants, shirts, and jacket with a “tug”, takes off my shoes, turns on and off light switches, opens and closes doors/drawers (including the elevator, refrigerator, dishwasher, regular doors, push button doors, etc.).
One thing Rachel would like others to know about her service dog McQueen is “McQueen enjoys working. He is happiest when he has a task to do. While he is extremely smart, he is still a dog. He loves nibbling on soft stuffies (like a baby with a pacifier), bananas, and ice cream.”