Help us buy Shandelle a wheelchair accessible van!

This December, we will be finally purchasing a fully equipped, wheelchair accessible van for my sister, Shandelle Adams. We’ve decided to launch a Go Fund Me campaign to help pay for the van :)

Why are we getting a wheelchair accessible van?

Shandelle has therapies several times a week outside St. Vincent’s Hospital, where she lives. She either takes ParaTranspo buses or wheelchair accessible taxis which are quite pricey and unreliable. There's also no room for random spontaneity!

We want to use the van for more than therapy and appointments though. Shandelle wants to go back to our family home in Barrhaven, to where my parents moved from Petawawa, and she wants to explore Ottawa! Go home and watch a movie with the family and spend time with the cats, see some Christmas lights around the city, go to the mall, drive along the beautiful parkways in Ottawa, cruise around town with the windows down on a nice summer day, go on a few road trips! She has luckily been able to attend the weddings of two of her close friends in the Ottawa Valley, thanks to van rentals (over $200/day). 

Staying at St. Vincent’s for over 8 years now has become, let’s just say, a little old. And speaking of old - we’re starting to not be able to walk all over Ottawa with Shandelle anymore. Half of us even have bad knees now! (aka Dad and I)

So let’s help Shandelle cruise around town and go on a few road trips and get some of her freedom and spontaneity back! 

Why does Shandelle need a wheelchair accessible van?

For those who may be unfamiliar with my sister’s story, here it is:

Back in July 2011, shortly after Shandelle had turned 19 years old, she was injured in a car accident. One morning, she was driving to her summer job at the Senior Support Center in Renfrew, ON, from Petawawa, ON. Unfortunately, not even 5 minutes from our home, she was involved in a catastrophic, two car collision. Firefighters needed to cut the roof off our family car and rush my sister to the hospital. Her injuries were so severe that doctors at the Pembroke Regional Hospital had her airlifted by helicopter to the trauma center at the Civic Hospital in Ottawa, ON. 

The initial prognosis from doctors was grim, saying she may not even make it through the night. Over the next few days, word got out and soon, the entire Intensive Care Unit waiting area was flooded with friends and family from near and very far, looking to visit and provide us with support and comfort, food and supplies, and so much love. As a side note, to all those who helped, we are forever grateful - you helped us through one of the worst days and weeks of our lives.

Fast forward to September 2011, Shandelle was moved to St. Vincent’s complex care hospital, where she lives now. Shandelle was in a coma for about 6 months, but even after ‘waking up,’ her traumatic brain injury (diffuse axonal brain injury) proved to have affected her significantly. She can still think like you and me, although there is sometimes a delay and loss of short term memory. She now needs a tube in her stomach to get the food she needs, she has a tracheostomy to help her breathe, she uses a modified computer to communicate, using her thumb to click through menus and make selections, since she is still unable to speak out loud, and she uses a manual wheelchair for mobility (which we push her in). She is unable to walk and move her arms much, only really having limited movement in her right arm. She isn’t paralized though, it’s more like her brain isn’t able to communicate properly with her body. She’s managed to land a pretty rad looking wheelchair though, in ‘Granny Smith apple green,’ and she can’t wait to head on the road in her new ‘midnight blue’ van, which she's been wanting for quite a while!

Who is Shandelle?

For those of you who don’t know my sister, Shandelle, allow me to introduce you. She is a 27 year old, brave, strong, and smart young lady. She has many wonderful friends and loves spending time with them and her family. She is an incredibly caring, friendly, wild, outspoken, adventurous, and funny woman. She is a kind and gentle person who had planned on completing a Bachelor's degree in Gerontology at McMaster University. After her first year at university, she returned to our hometown of Petawawa, where we grew up. Her summer job in 2011 was at the Senior Support Center in Renfrew. She loved elderly people, and even when they were being grumpy old farts, she still found them endearing and could find the humour in the situation. I can’t finish this off without mentioning how frustratingly stubborn she also is. She is a classic middle child - stubborn to the bone! Between throwing epic fits as a child while outside a cathedral in Germany, to sticking to her guns about clothes she doesn’t want to wear now (even if she would look so good in pink!), her stubbornness has never wavered. But I’m grateful for this trait, for it is her stubbornness that helped her to fight so hard for her life over 8 years ago.

We want to gift her with the freedom and spontaneity that her own set of wheels will allow. She deserves it! Please help us realize the goal!! 

Thank you, on behalf of Shandelle and the rest of the Adams family! :)

Donations ()

  • Carl Vis 
    • 35 $ 
    • 1 d
  • Thally Newey 
    • 25 $ 
    • 11 d
  • Rose and thompson baillie 
    • 100 $ 
    • 1 mo
  • Alicia Currie 
    • 30 $ 
    • 1 mo
  • Julie Bourgoin 
    • 25 $ 
    • 1 mo
See all


Natara Adams 
Nepean, ON
  • #1 fundraising platform

    People have raised more money on GoFundMe than anywhere else. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case that something isn’t right, we will refund your donation. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more