I am Joey. I'm 22 years old and as you can tell from my picture I am one happy little guy. Born with severe global disabilities I have been confined to a wheelchair my entire life. When I leave the house I can only be transported in our families 2002 handicap accessible converted mini-van. We used to call this vehicle Jo-Jo's Limo. Now we call it the Rust Bucket.
The vehice has served me and our family well over the years but sadly it is beginning to deteriorate right before our very eyes. Small piles of rust appear in the puddle of still shiny oil stains in the driveway. We used to think of creeks as soothing streams of water but now they are just annoying noises that drown out the sounds of music and conversation during a road trip. We still can't figure out why the floor is always wet. The ramp that's used to get me in and out of the van won't even show its face anymore as it stays tucked away safely in the floor of the van. We sometimes think we've lost the ramp along the highway during one of our trips. The Rust Bucket is in the shop every month to replace something that's just rotted away - coolant lines, exhaust systems, belts and hoses, the list goes on and on. The service advisor at the dealership has advised us to "get out of this vehicle". Easy for him to say as he's not the one who would have to spend upwards of $50,000 or more on a new van.
My goal is not to buy a new handicap accessible van but to try to get some trade value out of the one we have and purchase a used vehicle. We only use the van when necessary and I want our family to feel safe when they're taking me out of the house to visit family and friends.
Most importantly, if we raise more money than we need we will donate the difference to another family with similar transportation needs. And if and when we no longer need the van we will donate it to another family.
Here's me wearing a JO-MAN Campaign pin...
The JO-MAN pin up close...
- Darlene Damstrom
- Richard Friedman
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