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 until I turn 22 years of age.
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
1,000 pounds. The lift will cost around $8,000, installed. A new van will cost around $25,000 to $35,000,
depending on the year and the size.
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,