Wheelchair Accessible Van

Please help! At 62-years-old, I can no longer lift my daughter, Janvier, who has Spina Bifida and uses a wheelchair. I need an accessible van to take her to necessary medical appointments and bring her on community outings which are essential to her overall health and emotional well-being.

Janvier has an amazing spirit and is admired by many who have told me that she is their hero. She has been through so much and has always amazed people with her sense of humor, positive attitude and unwavering faith in God. I need your help to bring joy to her life and make some of her dreams come true.

As a very social person who has always been active, Janvier likes to be out in the community. She attended Camp Pelican in Leesville as a camper and counselor for 25 years, took dance lessons and performed in the yearly revue for 20 years, attended South Louisiana Community College part-time for 4 years, volunteered with a reading program for adults for several years and recently took part in a basketball program. Local newspapers have featured Janvier several times over the years highlighting her participation in dancing, basketball and Downtown Alive. She loves getting out to go shopping, visit friends and feed the ducks at the park.

Janvier is 34 years old and was born with Spina Bifida. She had surgery at birth for a shunt due to hydrocephalus, a tracheostomy when she was about one year old, a spinal fusion at the age of eight and a blood clot in her leg as an adult. She’s had numerous other surgeries which often involved excessive hospitalization. Recently, Janvier had a pressure sore which required surgery, a six week hospital stay, two years of almost total bed rest and will always need vigilant wound care. Transportation is crucial for her to go to her many regular doctor appointments and receive emergency care in a timely manner.

Tragically, Janvier’s dad was in a freak accident in 2005 and broke his neck. Partially paralyzed, Rene used an electric wheelchair until he died four years ago. Janvier was very close to him for he was a wonderful father, and as one of his biggest fans she misses him very much. She lives in an extremely small apartment and is an only child with very few relatives who live nearby, so she often feels lonely and isolated because she doesn’t have many visitors.

Now that I am over 60 years old I can no longer lift Janvier into my vehicle. I can’t bring her anywhere now - not to necessary medical appointments or even to visit me and our cats at my home. The van will also make a world of difference by allowing her to go places with other family members who can open her world up to new people and experiences.

Any donation will be greatly appreciated and will move me closer to enriching her life…
Thank you so much!
Valerie Balser
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Valerie Balser 
Lafayette, LA
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