Mobility Van and Wheelchair Needs

This is Jen, mother, wife, sister, daughter and friend. At the age of 12 when most kids are excited to start middle school, find that the opposite gender doesn’t have cooties, and start to feel like they're more grown up then what they really are is when she received her real life grown up diagnosis of Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy - a debilitating life long disease where she will slowly and progressively decline in her ability to do the easiest of tasks.

In her early 30’s her ability to walk was taken from her which left her permanently wheel chair bound, even lifting of a typical glass of water has also been taken from her. Her elementary school teaching job, which she loved dearly, was becoming too difficult for her and she had to retire at an early age. Her daily tasks take her much longer then any able bodied person. She can’t just hop in and out of bed, or quickly run to the store for a forgotten ingredient. Daily struggles are there…always, but she doesn't let them show. She remains a strong, positive, inspirational person who is deeply rooted in her faith which has never let her down even in some of the toughest darkest days.

To help her family as much as she can she started her own jewelry making business with her sister, to help with supplemental income. This however, is not enough to help pay for the surmounting bills coming her way.

Her toughest days started appearing a little over a year ago. With just their typical bills, then unforeseen additional medical bills, the constant fixing of her wheel chair and van they have been limping along doing what they can do to get by. Her wheel chair is on its last leg, and has been duct taped, glued and worked on so many times that we are afraid it will stop working when she is out of the house. Then this past week, the dreaded news that her 10 year old conversion van was deemed unsafe to drive.

For Jen to stay independent and safe, getting to her own doctors appointment and taking her daughter to the places she needs to be, she needs to have a new van. The current one they are looking at already has 25,000 miles on it. The cost of the used van, conversion with ramp, drivers transfer seat and safety restraints will total $60,000. All of this just to allow Jen to get in and out of the van to drive. The chair is partially covered by insurance but it will be up to them to pay the additional $5,000 for the portion that is not covered. They simply don't have enough money to make the purchase and the fear of losing her transportation is frightening.

As a friend who has seen Jen help so many others in the things she’s done, the help she’s given, the inspirations she's provided, we wanted to do what we can to help her as well. Helping her stay as active and independent for herself, her daughter and her family as long as she can is something that is important to all of us that know and love her.

We have started this Go Fund Me to help raise money for a conversion mobility van and electric wheelchair for Jen and any amount donated large or small is GENUINELY appreciated.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
  • Paul & Diana 
    • $50 
    • 35 mos
  • Pamela McClaren 
    • $100 
    • 35 mos
  • Roger Salgado 
    • $15 
    • 35 mos
  • Diane Bender 
    • $50 
    • 35 mos
  • Sally Sinnott 
    • $90 
    • 35 mos
See all

Fundraising team (4)

Stacie Wheeley 
Raised $605 from 13 donations
Kingsville, MD
Jennifer Orthaus Schwatka 
Beth Orthaus-Bory 
Team member
Raised $90 from 3 donations
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