Dion Needs New Wheels!

Raised: $18,573.00
Goal: $75,000.00

Created by

Dion Detterer

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My name is Dion Detterer. I have muscular dystrophy, so I use a wheelchair. I also use a ventilator 24/7. The van I use for transportation isn't working any more. Last year it failed wh... more


Updated posted by Dion Detterer 18 days ago

We're fast approaching 25% of our target amount!

It looks like the modifications will be around $15k and the vehicle itself will cost $60k. In other words, the estimated target of $75k was surprisingly prescient. But we're a quarter of the way there!

Please keep sharing the link and getting the word out. We need to keep the momentum going. Who knows? The new van may be right around the corner!


Updated posted by Dion Detterer 26 days ago

Hello everyone!

It's been a while--I've been unwell for the last few weeks, fighting an infection.

Anyway, here's an update: We're currently in the process of getting quotes on a vehicle and modifications. Once we have a solid dollar amount, we'll put in place the final arrangements for the trivia night.

Things have been moving slowly, but we ARE making progress. Thanks again for all your support.

Keep forwarding the link, keep talking about the fundraiser, and we'll get there soon!


Updated posted by Dion Detterer 2 months ago

Well, I got Frank at FST Automotive in Penrith to look at my current van. He again replaced the ECU chip and said the new chip is a temporary fix--it could function for two weeks or two months, but given that this is the second ECU that's been fried, a new van is the only viable option long-term.

So last night we went to the movies. The feeling of being out again after five weeks at home was incredible. It was like seeing in colour for the first time.

I had just a brief taste of what the new van will give me. Freedom really is life-changing.

We're organising the upcoming event. Carole Hampshire has generously donated her book "Artists Observed" for the event, and momentum is picking up.

Stay tuned: more news will be forthcoming soon!

1 - 3 of 18 Updates
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Created by Dion Detterer on January 15, 2014

My name is Dion Detterer. I have muscular dystrophy, so I use a wheelchair. I also use a ventilator 24/7.

The van I use for transportation isn't working any more. Last year it failed while I was evacuating during the October bushfires, and recently it died in 40 degree heat while I was coming home from a hospital visit. I was in extreme heat for over three hours, trying to figure out how to get home. In addition, a truck almost wiped me off the road while we were stopped on the side of the M4 motorway--not an ideal scenario.

I need a van I can use to get around where I don't risk killing myself, my carers or my loved ones, either through heat exhaustion, dehydration or an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents.

I need to go to medical appointments, community functions and events for my university research. I'm a PhD student, and my research will help the scientific community discover the genetic basis of common diseases; if I had a working van, I'd find it easier to engage with other researchers--something I can't do physically right now.

I've known for a while that the van I have now is not safe for me to travel in, especially in the heat, but I simply have not been able to afford to replace it. It's now 16 years old--I've spent years already trying to get this problem fixed, and for a while there, it was doing OK. Now, however, the problem has returned, worse than ever. It's obviously a recurring fault that will not go away.

That's why I'm asking the wider community for help.

The money raised will be used to buy a new van and outfit it with the necessary modifications for wheelchair access and travel, in order to give me the freedom others take for granted.

I hope you'll be able to help me achieve my goal.


Have Questions? Contact the organizer of this campaign now:


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Hi Dion I have shared this on my facebook and hope to hear some good news with the van soon :) Belinda

posted by Belinda Mancer 1 month ago

Hi Dion I love the new campaign add its perfect. I have been personally to 2 dealers in Penrith telling your story & trying to get van either donated or at a much reduced cost am still waiting for some sort of reply. Doing everything I can think of. Hang in there

posted by Ali Routledge 2 months ago

Hi Lucy, I've contacted both the president of the local Lions Club and Muscular Dystrophy Association of NSW; thus far, neither have responded. Rotary was to be my next stop, though I hadn't considered Variety. If you have any further advice, I'd be more than happy to listen.

posted by Dion Detterer 2 months ago

Hi Dion. I truly hope that you are able to raise the money you need quickly to get yourself some reliable wheels. I'm no expert, but have worked with people in the past who have helped with fundraising for this sort of thing. I'm wondering whether you have approached fundraising or community groups to ask for assistance. I believe Variety may have schemes to partially fund transport, and sometimes local clubs such as Rotary and Lions are able to help too. There may be a little money out there for this sort of thing if you look in the right place. Very best wishes.

posted by Lucy Barnham 2 months ago

Hi Dion this is Alba [Monica 's mother] be assured that once I work out how to make a donation I will be happy to help. take care and don't give up God bless you

posted by Alba Agius 3 months ago

Hi Dion sorry to hear about the van I know how you rely on this transport. I will what I can do with contacts that I have & will donate as soon as I can. Take care Ali

posted by Ali Routledge 3 months ago

Hi Dion, You are from faulco? I'm from Springwood. I am a Mechanic so if I can assist with getting your current ride reliable & safe for the time until you get new wheels the offer is there.

posted by Phillip Scott 3 months ago

Hi Sue, the base vehicle would be something like a Toyota HiAce.

posted by Dion Detterer 3 months ago

What type of van do you need Dion?

posted by Sue Johnston 3 months ago

Wow you got it all up and running so fast!! We were only discussing this on Facebook yesterday. I hope all can dig deep and help out as it's such a worthy cause I went to high school with Dion he deserves all the help he can get..

posted by Sky Mostra 3 months ago

I hope with all my heart this comes together for you Dion. You need these wheels as much as you deserve them. Best wishes to you and yours.

posted by Ariane Blanch 3 months ago

1 - 11 of 11 Comments

Recent Donations (262)

$18,573 raised by 262 people in 3 months.



4 days ago



Jeremiah Dollar

4 days ago


May God bless! #John316




4 days ago




4 days ago



Matt Howard

9 days ago


Here's hoping you get your new wheels soon mate, and good luck with your Ph.D!




10 days ago



Anu Jaithirtha

14 days ago


Saw your post on the SDMB and wanted to help out a little - hope you hit your target soon! :)



kam buckta

18 days ago


Hey Dion....I'd chuck in a squillion if I could to get your new wheels, but every little bit gets you that bit closer. Cheers mate!




18 days ago (Offline Donation)




18 days ago


1-10 of 262 donations


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