My friend, Jan Carpenter, experienced a huge, unexpected life change in April of 2014 when she suffered two spinal cord strokes, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down.
I am so in awe of Jan’s continued independence, despite not being able to walk, let alone drive. For those of you who may not know, Jan returned home after spending 3 months at St. Alphonsus and the Elks Rehabilitation hospitals, determined to live alone with the help of caregivers, family and friends. She has lived alone in Boise's beautiful North End since July of 2014, to the amazement of her doctors and therapists, who did not think she was strong enough to do so!
While the rest of us have the ability to jump in the car, run to the grocery store, go to lunch and shopping with friends, Jan has to plan for every transportation need in advance, using either the local bus, the Access bus system in Boise for those with disabilities, or pay for private transportation (one roundtrip to Meridian to see her Mom runs $160, as there is no public transportation that runs the 15 miles between Boise and Meridian!). Jan has missed many family gatherings, birthdays, funerals, weddings, volunteer opportunities, and all those things most of us take for granted. Just the planning for a visit or trip is daunting and nothing can be done on the spur of the moment. It is, for this independent woman who loves to travel, a very disheartening situation! Jan has even missed medical appointments when Medicaid transportation has not been reliable. But more importantly, there were many precious moments missed with her Dad before he passed away in 2018. Her Mom has had many health issues this year and the time is now to get Jan back on the road!
The last document Jan's father signed before he passed away was the title turning over a new 2018 deluxe Chrysler Pacifica minivan that she can have converted to ride in as a passenger and even better, drive! The cost of converting the vehicle will run right around $40,000 and she will also need additional funds to maintain the vehicle, as living on disability and a fixed income makes both the customization and cost of operating the van a steep challenge. It will be a vehicle that will last the rest of her life and we need YOUR HELP to raise the money for the van conversion. We have already raised $23,000 to date!
I will never forget the text from Jan letting me know what had happened and the condition she was now in. I couldn’t imagine how this fiercely independent warrior could have been paralyzed by a rare type of stroke and that in a moment, her independence was totally taken from her. After that, each time I get in my own car, I shed a tear thinking about Jan and how she can’t do this simple thing that I and others take for granted. I can’t imagine her not driving. Jan has always loved to drive and has taken more road trips than I can count.
We now have the chance to get Jan back behind the wheel and in the driver’s seat of her life. Despite all of our challenges in 2020, I am releasing this GoFundMe fundraiser on Giving Tuesday because we are blessings in each others' lives! Please open your hearts (and wallets) and help me get Jan back behind the wheel and driving toward her dreams!!
Because of Medicaid rules and the need to keep these funds completely separate in a supplemental needs trust, money cannot be donated directly to Jan. I will be overseeing the fund and its distribution in my role as her executor.
If you wish to donate via check, please contact me or Jan and we will send you a SASE and instructions on how to make out a check for the Jan Carpenter Supplemental Needs Trust!
- Kathy Hensley
- Patti & Rob Beavers
- Sherwin & Janet Eng
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more