My name is Carlos Delgado; I am 19 years old. I was born with Spina Bifida. I am a paraplegic, have a tracheostomy, and am ventilator dependent. I need oxygen 24/7. I graduated from high school last year and am now a full time student in the LIGHT program, where I am learning life skills. In the future, I hope to go to college and get my degree in computer technology and live on my own.
I have two younger siblings, a sister and a brother. Four years ago, my father passed away suddenly. My mom works full time as an assembler at a medical supply manufacturer. My grandpa also lives with us. Because I am confined to a wheel chair and am ventilator/oxygen dependent, I am in a state funded program that provides me with nursing care during the day/evening.
In 2000, we got a half ton van with a wheelchair lift; I was seven years old at the time and had a manual wheelchair. Now I have a power wheelchair with a battery, ventilator with a battery, oxygen and an emergency bag. The total weight, including myself, is around 700 pounds. Unfortunately, my lift does not accommodate that amount of weight.
This past summer my lift needed to be repaired; at that time we were told that we might need a three quarter ton van with a lift that can accommodate more weight. My lift was working for a couple months and now it has stopped working. The wheelchair van/lift company has now confirmed that I do need a new van and lift.
It is so important for me to have a van with a lift because it is my only means of transportation. Without it, I am unable to go to doctor appointments, weekly mass and other church activities, family gatherings, movies, shopping, school sports activities, etc. Without my van I am home-bound.
The wheelchair van/lift company recommended a three quarter ton Ford or Chevrolet van, not older than a 2006, and a lift that accommodates 800 pounds. The cost of the lift will be covered by the state. A new van will cost around $25,000 to $35,000, depending on the year and the size. That cost does not include sales tax and any other required fees
In order to help my mom pay for the van and lift, I decided to do fundraising. I am asking you to send this letter to everyone you know. If each person sends a small donation, I believe I will raise enough money to buy this equipment. Just think, if 35,000-40,000 people donate $1, I will raise enough money.
I greatly appreciate your help,