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Born To Be Free: Building a Wheelchair RV

$35,655 of $35,000 goal

Raised by 250 people in 7 months
I have a dream, a BIG dream, that I’ve been keeping close to my heart. Knowing it’s something I can’t do without a lot of help from others, I’ve wrestled with moving forward. I’ve wrestled with pride of not wanting to rely on others more than I already do. I’ve wrestled with believing that God, the creator of the stars, is actually capable of allowing this to happen in the blink of an eye. I’ve wrestled with stepping into vulnerability. And yet, God keeps nudging my heart to jump in - fully in. To share this dream and let others be a part of the journey - to give Him room to surprise me. So, here we go…

Introducing, Born To Be Free… I have a dream to convert a wheelchair-accessible transport bus into a customized RV that I can travel the country with. A vehicle that is comfortable for me to drive long distances in; complete with a bed, a mini bathroom, mini kitchen, and convertible seating for friends. Like I said, it’s a BIG dream, but I’m choosing to jump in and trust God with it all. Inside of my bones sits an ache to explore. To see new skies and engage with all that beauty out there. (Wow, my heart is pounding as I type out these words.) There are some hefty obstacles when it comes to getting this wheelchair and I out there in the world, but it’s within these challenges that I often experience God most fully, and feel most connected to others.

For years, we’ve been talking about how having an accessible RV would create such greater ease of travel. With the ability to lay down while driving, my body would not experience the excruciating pain and exhaustion that flying and driving in a car cause; my limited stamina would not dictate our travel itinerary, allowing us to travel much farther distances at one time. My little RV would allow me to have all of my medical equipment set up and ready to go at any time, and would be my little tiny home away from home.

The reason I’m calling this whole thing “Born to be Free: A Journey West” is because the dream is to buy an accessible shuttle bus and do all of the major conversions in time for summer 2019!! If God does a miracle, we are going to take the bus on her maiden voyage across the country - through the desert skies, over mountains, all the way to California and back. And along the way, we’re going to stop in certain cities and I’m going to speak. God gave me the opportunity to speak to a bunch of 4th graders a few weeks back and the response from the kids healed something in me. Answering their curious questions, having the honor to tell them that their dreams MATTER, their voices MATTER, and watching their initial hesitancy with our physical differences melt into a comfortable understanding that we are all very much alike - it gave me a glimpse of my purpose here and now. God made it very clear that I am to use my voice to encourage and empower - to talk about differences and kindness and dreams. I don’t fully know what this will look like yet, but I know that this little RV is full of purpose. I know that it’s not just an RV for my enjoyment, though it will allow so much rest and joy. It’s an RV with a mission: to take me, along with those I love, where we need to go so that I can share the stories God’s given me, for years to come.


THE DETAILS

Q: Why an RV?
On a good day, I’m able to sit up in my chair for about 4 hours at a time, two times a day. During the in-between time, I’m resting my legs by laying down in bed and usually getting work done on my computer. Often, my nerve pain limits those 8 hours, keeping me in bed longer; and some days I’m blown away by how much stamina my body has. Basically, my energy and pain levels are quite unpredictable, making traveling of any form to be challenging.

Traveling by plane is extremely difficult and taxing on my body, and traveling by traditional car can only be done in 4-hour spurts because that’s how long I can stand to sit in my chair without needing rest and medicine. To sum it up, we’ve done both modes of transportation this past year and it took my body weeks to recover. My mom and I kept saying to each other, “We need an RV, it’s time to build that RV.”

Q: Why convert your own RV?
After searching to the ends of the Internet, we discovered there’s no market to rent wheelchair accessible RVs, and the only ones to buy are very luxurious with six-figure price tags. With more research and a yearning heart, we came to the conclusion that buying a used accessible transport bus and modifying it ourselves would be the best long-term and cost-effective solution.


COST BREAKDOWN: Our estimation to complete the project is $20,000. To buy a decent, used wheelchair-accessible shuttle bus is around $15,000 and we are estimating that converting the inside, with the help of my incredibly talented family and community of friends, will be about $5,000.

It’s with a humble, joyful, and yearning heart that I ask for you to join me on this journey of overcoming the seemingly impossible and choosing to believe that our circumstances don’t define what we are capable of doing or experiencing.

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With love, 
Jordan
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$35,655 of $35,000 goal

Raised by 250 people in 7 months
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