In 2010, Ian was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Duchenne is a very cruel muscle-wasting disease. Ian has never been able to run or skip. He cannot jump or climb because his muscles are too weak to support him. This horrible disease will progress, and in the future he will need a tendon release procedure and spinal rods in his back to combat scoliosis. He'll require a G-Tube when it's no longer possible to eat on his own, and he will rely heavily on equipment to help him cough and eventually to breathe. There are no treatments, and there is no cure. Duchenne will slowly rob Ian of all muscle function until it becomes too much for his body to withstand. Unless there is a miracle cure found in the next five to ten years, Duchenne will take Ian from us.
Ian is getting significantly weaker each day, and is losing other abilities as well. At an age when most kids are gaining more independence, he's losing his. He can no longer stand up from a sitting position. He cannot get up from the floor. He can no longer dress himself. He can't shower alone. At this rate of decline, he won't be walking much longer. Right now, Ian is still able to walk most days, but it's becoming more and more difficult for him and in a very short time he will need to be in his power wheelchair full time (likely within a month). As a result, we desperately need a van equipped to transport his wheelchair to and from school and doctor appointments, etc., but they are quite costly. If he can't walk anymore before we can get a van, Ian will have to be carried to and from the school/car. This could happen any day.
Ian's medical needs are quite costly, and will only escalate as he gets older. We have been working hard to save for his needs, but we don't yet have enough to afford a mechanically sound handicap accessible van. Because of the high fuel costs and our tight budget, we are desperately searching for a simple used minivan with a ramp, as opposed to a more costly full-size conversion van with a power lift. However, we will consider anything. New converted vans are impossible for us at a cost of $40,000 or more, but so are most decent used vans. Because of the extremely high cost of modifying handicap vans, the used prices average around $18,000, and we simply don't have enough to pay that much.
For Ian's sake, your help would be greatly appreciated!! Or, if you have a lead on where we could find an affordable, decent handicap van, please feel free to share it with us! Thank you so much for your generous assistance.
- Rhonda Setser
- Jenna F
- C R
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