A Van for Lydia

In April of 2002, our second daughter was born with Down Syndrome.  She was blessed to be healthy at birth and we were grateful.  However, 9 months later she began to have seizures that continued for 4 long years.  By year 3 her EEG recorded her having as many as 63 small seizures in  a one hour time frame.  There were and still are very few medications for children that small.  The lack of control of her seizures  delayed her learning to reach many milestones until a much later date.  She was unable to stand or walk till she was 4 1/2.  She is now seizure free but her development is greatly behind.

Lydia is totally nonverbal, nor is she able to communicate with signs or a tablet at this time.  She wears diapers, has celiac disease, and is allergic to milk products.  She is assumed to have autistic tendencies but has not been able to get a formal diagnosis due to her delays.  She is totally dependent upon us to dress her and prepare her food and guide her in trying to feed herself.  Lydia will be with us forever and we are so blessed to have her in our lives.  She teaches us so much about what is important.

Lydia is 12 now and requires a special seat in the car for her safety.  We were blessed to get a seat through our insurance that should last Lydia for many years to come. However, our cars are not able to accommodate Lydia's special needs anymore.  Her seat barely fits in our minivan and with her height she has very little leg room and has a tendencies to put her hands near the door opening.  We have to be extra careful not to close her hands or feet in the door and she does not understand us telling her to move her hands or feet out of the way.  Having two other children, it impossible to have space to change her diaper in the car which is a huge problem as she gets older and bigger.  We are in need of a new vehicle that will seat all of us safely and still allow room for us to change Lydia's diaper, and sometimes her clothes if she has an accident on herself.  We believe that a Dodge Passenger Sprinter Van or something similar, will work best for her for years to come as she grows into an adult.  We know that the challenges we face will become greater as she grows.  Right now, any distance out of our town is getting difficult, as there are no facilities in stores or restaurants to change the diaper of an older child or adult with special needs.  We love our Lydia.  She is an important part of our family and we want her included everywhere we go.
We have had our cars, a 1999 Dodge Caravan and a 1999 Dodge Durango, paid off for 8 years and it has been a blessing.  Lydia requires a lot of extra money to take care of her with special order diapers, allergy free food and special equipment.  We are not able at this time to pay a car payment on our working income.  Lydia's father works incredibly hard and we are great at making it all work on our income but a new vehicle is just something we know we just can't afford.  We will be selling our minivan once we get a van that better accommodates Lydia and her wheelchair/stroller. Please help us to get a van that will make it easier for us to care for and include Lydia.  We are eternally grateful that you have come to our fundraising page and read about Lydia.
Go Fund Me takes 8% of every donation to cover their fees.  If you prefer to donate directly to Lydia via mail, please use the contact button on this page to request an address.  Thank you!
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Jessica N Garrett Dean 
Columbia, TN
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