An accessible van for Gage

Many of you know Gage or have seen him wheeling around the community. He is always smiling, always telling funny jokes, and loves to go fast in his green wheels! He brings so much joy to everyone in his life and I would really love to see this happen for him.

Gage was born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. Spina bifida is a neural tube defect that occurs in utero, and causes permanent damage to the nerves in the spine. This affects everyone differently, but for Gage, the most obvious challenge is paralysis in his legs. Gage has been a full time wheelchair user since age 2!
Although he has never let his diagnosis hold him back from doing all the things his peers are doing, there are still a lot of challenges that come along with caring for a kiddo with special needs. Our daily routines are rigid and thankfully I have been able to take care of all his daily needs thus far.
But as Gage gets older, he seeks more independence and I hope to give him as much as I am able to.

Currently, if we wish to travel somewhere. I must carry, lift and/or transfer Gage into the car seat in the van. And then I must transfer and lift the wheelchair into the van. I must then do the same when we arrive at our destination. This happens multiple times a day. At 70lbs-this is no easy task, and is taking a toll on both of us.

Imagine a scenario where Gage could just wheel himself into a van- And never have to separate from the comfort of his chair! This is what I am seeking for Gage. To create ease, and independence, and safety for him.

We have been presented with the possibility of a generous grant from March of dimes to assist with the costs of an accessible van-but we must produce the remaining funds, and that’s where you come in!

I know it takes a village to raise a child, and this community we live in is absolutely amazing! I am hoping we can all come together and make this happen for him-independence will only become more important as he gets older!

Any little bit help-there is no amount to small.

From the bottom of my heart-I thank you in advance for everything you are doing for my boy


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Shayna Desjardins 
North Bay Central, ON
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