Elliott was born July 18, 2000 and spent his first 30 days in intensive care. Due to the various complications, the doctors didn’t know his diagnosis nor his potential for a normal life. Despite the grim prognosis we could see in his eyes that he was an old soul, calm with a sense of knowing and we took him home to begin his journey.
Elliott spent most of his early childhood at Stanford, Shriner’s, and UC Davis Children’s Hospitals. From the age of 10 ten days up until he was 15 he had numerous conditions resulting in 49 different surgeries. With each surgery he grew stronger and was more determined to live a normal kid’s life.
When he was two, Elliott was able to walk a few steps with a walker. Try as he might, it soon became clear he would need a wheelchair to be mobile.
After what seemed like never-ending doctor visits, tests and therapies Elliott was diagnosed with Congenital Muscular Dystrophy at the age of 7. Recently, through genome testing, he has been diagnosed with an extremely rare muscle condition related to Muscular Dystrophy. Called Mutation of Chromosome #19 Elliott is the only person known to have it.
Elliott’s leadership skills, strength and intelligence began to emerge in elementary school. He was the first physically handicapped child, without any mental disabilities, that the staff and students had met. Rather than be intimidated by the staring and bullying, he strove to educate teachers and kids alike that he was the same as everyone else…and succeeded.
Thanks to a mentor/teacher in 4th and 5th grade Elliott discovered his sense of patriotism and desire to be a pilot in the US Air Force. His teacher encouraged him to follow his dreams and not take no for an answer. And this has been Elliott’s mantra ever since. He learned in 7th grade about the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) program at his future high school. Despite being told NO for two years, Els strived to fulfill his dream. Elliott persistently strove to be accepted and began his freshman year in high school as a cadet!
Elliott is now a senior in high school, has an above average GPA and is a Senior Master Sergeant, soon to be a Chief Master Sergeant in AFJROTC. He has taken a leadership role in his campus programs educating about diversity and acceptance. In addition to his extracurricular activities, he has been a soloist in his school choir and will be attending his second Cal State Honor Choir.
Elliott is also well aware of the demands of car ownership and is seeking part-time employment to help subsidized the costs of owning, insuring and maintaining a vehicle.
Elliott will begin attending Sierra Jr. College in the fall. After that he is considering completing his BA or BS at Embry-Riddle Aeronautics University, one of the top two aviation schools in the US, as well as other universities to pursue his major. His current goals are to work for the FBI or CIA in Counter-Intelligence, become a Drone Pilot or a college professor in Military History/Military Science.
Elliott completed his drivers training (above) and now is licensed CA driver. Now Elliott needs a handicap accessible vehicle to drive to college and work.
Following is the information on the vehicle we are trying to purchase:
· 2008 Chrysler Dodge Caravan (this is not old in handicap vehicle years)
· 25,000 miles (extremely low)
· $45,000 total cost with handicap accommodations
· $28,000 is the amount that we (Els parents) are paying for the vehicle
· $17,000 is the cost of the handicap accommodations required for Els to drive, such as hand controls, lowering the vehicle floor to accomodate a wheel chair, a power folding ramp, to name just a few
This is where Elliott needs your help....
We are striving to see if we can raise the $17,000 so Elliott can drive into the next chapter of his life with the independence he has fought for most of his life.
We are grateful that you have taken your time to read about Elliott’s fundraiser. As you think about donating, please note that no gift is too small. If you choose not to donate, we would appreciate you reposting the link to this fundraiser on your social media accounts to share with your friends.
On behalf of Elliott and the entire Stroope Family we thank you!
(Stay tuned for updates on the fundraiser as well as the van modifications!!!)
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