Wheelchair Accessible Van Tax Assistance

Linda has been awarded a customized wheel chair accessible van from the National Mobility Dealers Equipment Association (NMDEA). The cost of the van has been covered, but the taxes on the van and other expenses associated with receiving the van are about $12,000. Please consider donating to a local hero.
A hero is someone who illustrates courage or noble qualities. My mother, Linda Stearns, exemplifies what a true hero is. At the age of 17, my mother began volunteering at Misericordia Chicago . While there, she met my “brother,” Charlie who was 9 months old and suffered from spina bifida and hydrocephalus. She was told to not get attached, because he would not live past the age of 2. That didn’t stop her. At the age of 21, Charlie came to live with my mother permanently and this past November, he turned 49 years old. In November of 1984, shortly after my 3rd birthday my mother was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. She accepted the fact that she could beat her disease or it would beat her. With that mentality, she persevered in every aspect of her life and chose to become a full time advocate and volunteer. Almost 21 years ago, she became the unofficial adoptive grandmother to a set of quadruplets whom she watched, free of charge, while their mother worked as a waitress. She continued caring for not only herself, but me, both my elderly and ailing grandparents and Charlie. Over the years, she has volunteered with the Cook County Multiple Sclerosis Chapter as a member and supporter, the Garden Center for the Handicapped, Mt. Zion Lutheran Church along with Galilee Baptist Church and Homeless Center. She loans her accessible van, despite its condition, to those in need including a complete stranger, who wanted to transport his mother from a nursing home for the holidays. She bakes for PADS, which serves the homeless, attends Honor Flight Chicago to support veterans and rearranges flowers from local funeral homes, which she delivers to patients in hospitals and nursing homes – sometimes not even knowing the patient herself. In 2009, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, which didn’t stop her from helping others. She continued to do volunteer work and help others. She took in an elderly family friend, with no immediate family and cared for her for the remaining years of her life. My mother is a person who doesn’t stop living life because of her disease – she pushes harder – embraces life – for herself and everyone around her. She is not only my hero, but one for many – family, friends and even strangers.
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Linda Stearns 
Oak Lawn, IL

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