Family of 15 needs wheelchair lift
Nate and his wife Lori were college sweethearts and have been married for over 33 years. They have a large, beautiful, diverse family of THIRTEEN children. Six of those kids are their biological children and seven children are adopted, including a pair of two-year-old boys that were adopted on National Adoption Day last month! All seven adopted children (mostly all adults now) have special needs or medical issues and three of them are confined to wheelchairs. Many of their children require continuous medical treatment and are hospitalized for days at a time. In fact, one of their adult sons recently had surgery to replace a heart valve and will likely remain hospitalized through the holidays.
The Ryberg’s are a very close-knit and active family that currently rely on a used passenger van without a wheelchair lift to get around. This poses two problems for the family – the first being that there are more family members then the van can accommodate, so the family cannot go places together without taking two vehicles or making two trips. The second problem is that without a wheelchair lift, Nate has to lift his adult children in and out of the van and then put the chairs in separately. This is physically taxing and time consuming, especially considering that Nate can now get his senior discount! It is difficult for Lori to lift them herself, which makes it difficult to go places if Nate is at work or at the hospital with another child. Recently, this has caused emotional stress for their wheelchair bound teenage daughter who has at times been unable to visit her brother in the hospital.
Nate has been a police officer in Arizona for over 27 years and Lori is a mom and part time teacher who provides around the clock care for their children. Nate and Lori are kind, loving people who have opened their hearts and their home to foster children with medical issues and/or special needs for years. Three have Spina Bifida, three have Down Syndrome and one with Cerebral Palsy. They have adopted many of these children, providing them with a stable and loving family environment in which they not only thrive, but flourish. Nate and Lori are very involved with all their children’s education, therapies, etc., and keep them active in sports/adaptive sports. Many of their children compete in archery and track and field in the Paralympics and swimming in Special Olympics! They have competed all around the country. Some of the other children are accomplished musicians playing the piano, violin and cello. Their young adult children have traveled to China, Haiti, Jordan and South Korea working with disabled orphans and teaching English.
Nate and Lori do so much for others and do not ask for anything. This page was created in the hopes of raising enough money for a new wheelchair lift to be added onto their current vehicle. This would be a blessing to the Ryberg family and would make their lives easier and less stressful. A wheelchair accessible van would allow the family to travel together to church, the kids sporting events and music recitals, hospital visits and family outings without driving two vehicles. The wheelchair lift would not only give the wheelchair bound kids more independence to get in and out in less time and with little to no help, it would also prevent Nate and Lori from having to physically lift them in and out of the car. This holiday season, please consider a donation to make life a little easier for this wonderful family.
This page was created by Nate’s friends & co-workers (with his permission).
All donations will go directly to the Ryberg family. Thank you!!
The bus is a 2017 Ford E350 V-10 chassis with driver and co-pilot seats plus 10 passengers and places for 3 wheelchairs tied down. The body is a 22ft. Starcraft custom bus. A Braun hydraulic lift makes loading all the chairs a breeze at the touch of a button. It has overhead storage, rear door, 27 in TV/DVD/CD and navigation, plus a huge 2nd A/C that can make it snow inside!
Commercial folding entry doors also make carrying 4 child car seats easy! We are already getting used to driving something that big! The kids love it. Check out the pics! Thanks Creative Bus Sales!
Some had doubts, but this was out of our hands from the beginning. We were patient and grateful for every dollar given to us, every cent was such a blessing and so many great stories behind each one I truly hope you all know how much your kindness has affected our family! Our kids will always talk about it. We pray we were good stewards of the money. Just when we thought we would be a few thousand short of the goal, patience and prayer brought in Grace Christian Academy with their amazing student organized fundraiser that put us just over the goal!
There are so many people to thank (626 to be exact) and we have tried to convey our gratitude along the way when we know of and see some of you. However, many were anonymous and some from all over the world! (Thanks DailyMail and Associated Press) so, we may miss a few.
First, we thank the Tempe Police Department and all my co-workers for dreaming this up and running with it. Then the city of Tempe for jumping in and planning other cool fundraisers.
Thanks Tempe Police Foundation who gave so much itself and then helped others to donate.
The Safeway/Albertsons charity grants, The Earnhardt Ford grants, Chapman Chevrolet grants, San Tan Bible Church, T-Rex Baseball and ASU Charities.
Healy Arms for the gun raffle! The motorcycle charity ride, the flag raffle, the match games on GFM, how cool was that! And thanks to all the TPD Retired!
Thanks to the many individual board members of organizations that gave personally and the individual council members who so graciously supported our family.
Thanks to our own media! Fox 10, who first aired the story, then, channels 15, 12, 5, 3 and the CW6. Thanks to the Arizona Republic, The East Valley Tribune and KTAR radio.
Thank you to everyone! Take a minute and page through all the donations on the GoFundMe page.
If anyone locally wants to come see the bus (and us) we will have it on display with several other specialty vehicles on January 25th at Grace Christian Academy at 1200 E. Southern in Tempe, from 9:00am to 11:00am.
Sincerely, The entire Ryberg Family.
(We have not removed the GoFundMe page because the original goal is a little short of the amount needed to cover the tax, title, license, insurance, etc and we are still hopeful a few more donations will trickle in so they will not have come out of pocket.)
THIS IS SUCH A BLESSING FOR THIS FAMILY AND WE CAN’T THANK YOU ENOUGH FOR YOUR SUPPORT OF THIS FUNDRAISER FOR OUR FRIEND/CO-WORKER.
Grace Christian Academy in Tempe, 1200 E Southern Avenue, will be hosting a community event this Friday from 8am-9am and with the money they raise, they stated all proceeds will go towards this fund.
This means we will most likely reach our goal and the Ryberg family will then purchase a bus. A similar bus that will be purchased will be on display at the academy during their event on Friday, April 7th.
All are welcome to attend the event and meet the Rybergs and see the bus.
Thanks again to everyone.
If you want to buy tickets for the drawing this flag will be in Tempe on Saturday, Jan 28th at the Cornhole Tournament.
If your family is not a part of HopeKids AZ I strongly encourage you to apply. They are specific to families of children with life threatening medical conditions. They have been a true blessing to our family and I know they will be to yours! It's not a financial support but it is a family support.
I need a Point of Contact for the gun raffle tickets. I have multiple people looking for tickets, but we do not know where or who to contact.
So happy for this family. A little support goes a long way!
I remember Lori from junior high. What a sweet and kind person she was, and looks like she hasn't changed. She has, however, changed the world! Thank you Lori and Nathan for loving children so well.