As some of you know, Lila was diagnosed with Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis 25 years ago. MS is a disabling disease that targets your central nervous system and prevents the relay of information between your brain, spinal cord, and the rest of your body. For the last 25 years, we have watched the progression of MS rob her of everyday functions that many of us take for granted, taking away much of her mobility and requiring her to be in a wheelchair full time for the past twelve years.
Nine years ago her life and health was further complicated when she suffered a stroke, requiring an extensive hospitalization and several months at a rehabilitation facility. When she was released from rehab, her entire world had changed. She was newly single and completely dependent on the help of others for almost everything, something very heartbreaking and frustrating for the independent and lively spirit that she is. Despite her declining health and hardships, she continues to amaze everyone with her positive energy, witty sense of humor, and love of life. She keeps busy with her family, friends, and in the community thanks to her handicap accessible van. A handicap accessible van is equipped with a side ramp that allows her to maintain in her powered wheelchair through transportation (with the help of a driver) and has been such a blessing in keeping her active in the community and allowing her to travel to see friends and family, especially her grandchildren.
Two weeks ago, after visiting her mother in the hospital, Lila was in a car accident (no fault of the driver) that left her handicap accessible van totaled (thankfully all people involved are okay!). Although she has insurance, because of the mileage and age of her vehicle, she isn't getting enough money to pay for a new, safe handicap accessible van. (Handicap accessible vans are extremely expensive, anywhere from $40,000-$50,000!) She depends heavily on a very small social security check every month and once again, does not have the funds to afford a new van in addition to the insurance money. Without access to an accessible van, Lila will lose what is remaining of her independence and not be able to travel to her regular doctor visits, see friends and family, nor stay active in her community.
If her amazing attitude, sunny disposition, and hilarious wit isn't humbling enough, the only person that refuses to ask for help is Lila. She prefers to think of all her blessings, and I am amazed at how she never loses her faith. It is our hope, that with a little help and generosity from friends, family, and members of the community, Lila will be able to purchase a new van and regain the independence she deserves. Please consider making a donation and passing this page along to friends, every little bit can help! We recognize that our donation goal is an extremely large amount of money, but the reality of Lila's situation is that she desperately needs this money in order to get a van that is quite literally her life-line.
If there are additional ways you are able to assist Lila, feel free to get in contact with us through the GoFundMe page with any resources, ideas, and suggestions- we are so grateful! Thank you for the help, prayers, and support!
- Tammy COOLEY
- Jenny Hartsell
- Carolyn Hellinger
- Tasha Moose
- Kristie Brown