7 months ago we began to fundraise for a new car, Scarlett's power chair, and the special lift required to get her chair in and out of the car. We launched her page at www.gofundme.com/2f4suw
and prayed that many would be called to assist in our efforts. As of today, we have raised almost $35,000! Whether you shared our site, made a donation, or cheered us on, this long overdue post is for you!
The first step was her power chair. As soon as we raised a sizable amount, we applied for her chair and we able to cover what insurance didn't. Scarlett received her chair right before Fourth of July and has been learning how to drive, turn, and stop. She is doing so well and even participated in a 100 yard dash last weekend. To see her drive is amazing and she loves being able to "run away" from us!
At the end of summer, we had a decision to make. We could either take the remainder of the funds raised and put it toward the car, or wait until we had all the money raised and hope we'd find another vehicle that would work. The tough part was we had selected the vehicle and chair at the same time to make sure they would work together plus allow room for our family of 5. We had been working with Wickstrom Ford here in Barrington and they were in need of moving the vehicle we had on hold off their lot to make room for new inventory. The exact car we needed would be hard to find again so it was a tough decision to make. Knowing we had the chair, we couldn't risk losing a car that would work so we decided to move forward.
The final step was the lift. We were fortunate to secure funding from the state of Illinois, but like all things that involve the government, the amount of red tape and hoops we had to jump through made me feel like I had acquired a third job. Finally, though, after a few months of work, the car was picked up and the lift was installed.
We have slowly let Scarlett out with her chair in places we know she can handle. She is still only two and having her drive such a large and expensive piece of equipment makes me nervous. We marvel at how quickly she is figuring out navigation. For now, many of her controls are only accessible with our help, and we hope by summer to be able to turn over full control to Scarlett.
We've come a long way in 7 months, but still would like to reach our fundraising goal. We would welcome supporters of Scarlett to continue to share our link. With all of the scams on the internet today strangers can be leery to donate. By showing them our link and blog, we hope it demonstrates that Scarlett's story is real and that the money donated is being used for its intended purposes. We'd like to pay for the remainder of the amount of her vehicle and begin the process of creating an accessible home so she can use her chair inside as well as out. For now, her chair is stored daily in our garage because we can't get it in the entrances of our home. Come winter, the chair will have to be moved to a heated location making it so she can't use the chair every day. SMA is a marathon and the miles of needs keep coming for Scarlett. We continue to be grateful for everyone's support and help. We wouldn't be anywhere near where we are today without family and friends who keep pushing us to give Scarlett the best life possible. Thank you for getting Scarlett moving!