A new van for Dee

$5,333 of $60,000 goal

Raised by 10 people in 3 months
A New Van for Dee Gunter
Dee, Angel (right) and Bella (left)

In a nutshell: Dee needs to regain her independence through a new(er) van modified to meet her needs.
 The details:
Dee-Anne Gunter has a tenacious zest for living and an inspiring drive to overcome the obstacles in life. Her motto is ‘The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do!’

In the last 15 years she has had lots of issues with her asthma to the point she can no longer stay home in the winter months and she needs to go north to warmer climates.

Since becoming a quadriplegic (vertebral fracture C2-C5) 22 years ago she has been an active member of the community and was the first Cub Scout leader in a wheelchair in NSW. She has volunteered for meals-on-wheels and was instrumental in advocating for wheelchair access throughout the Canberra Institute of Technology Woden campus and has spoken to Queanbeyan City Council about ways they can provide better community access for disabled people. 

Dee lives alone with the aid of friends, support workers, her awesome service dog, Angel and a disability pension.  She is self-employed part-time as a dog trainer for people with disabilities who need Service Dogs (sometimes she provides free training or only charges enough to cover her petrol expenses), plus with returned service personnel and first-responders who need PTSD dogs. For her to be successful in this dog-training work requires her to have her own car to meet with her human and canine clients. 

Hence she is very dependent on her car (almost daily) for lifestyle independence, her physical and mental health and for her work. 

Her current car:
She has a 2002 Volkswagen Transporter which has been fully modified to enable her to travel independently. It has an under-carriage wheelchair hoist and a special 6-way driver’s seat which is designed to turn and allow her to drive. 

The 6-way seat is not fully functional and cannot be repaired. The wheelchair hoist is now broken beyond repair as parts are no longer available.

(The hoist will no longer come out. All the microswitches in the hydraulics have been adjusted for so many repairs that they have  exceeded their lifespan. These microswitches are out of manufacture and replacement parts can no longer be ordered.)

She has to rely on support workers to assist in getting her wheelchair in and out of the car using a ramp, or catch buses and taxis.

The issue with her wheelchair hoist has added extreme hardship in fulfilling her work commitments, earn independent income or engage in social community activities. It upsets Dee because she loves to help other disabled people or people who have a dog they are training to be their service dog so they can have more confidence to get out and enjoy life and engage in community activities.

“I know what it is to live and achieve when living with a disability – I get where you're coming from. I have experience as both a consumer and as a service provider of service dog training. I focus on training disabled and able people to work with their dog to achieve the best possible results for their lifestyle.”          -Dee Gunter

The van Dee needs:
Brand new vehicles (which would be the absolute ideal) are around $80,000.

If the NDIS doesn’t fund the car modifications, then Dee will need an extra $35,000 to have the modifications fitted.

We are asking people to contribute towards assisting Dee to keep living independently and to help her continue to help others with their Service/PTSD Dogs.

We are hoping to raise these funds before the Canberra weather starts to get too cold and Dee needs to head north.

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$5,333 of $60,000 goal

Raised by 10 people in 3 months
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