UPDATE: We have reached our goal!! Some donations came by mail, so adding them to what has been given here, we just hit $30,000 today! What a great way to kick off Thanksgiving Weekend! We will keep this GoFundMe page open until we buy the van so we can post updates and photos. Meanwhile, please divert your generosity to others who need it. There are plenty of people who can use a boost, and you can make a difference, just like you have done for us. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!
As many of you know, just over ten years ago, our son Matt was driving home when his car was hit by a train. He suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury, and remains in a vegetative state, still needing around the clock care, as he can do nothing for himself. He cannot walk, use his hands, talk, or otherwise communicate. All feeding and hygiene is taken care of by Sandy, myself, and his nurse, (whom his insurance covers for 40 hours a week).
About nine years ago we were given a used wheelchair accessible van. Yes, given. It was a godsend, even though it was 12 years old when we got it. We put a couple thousand dollars into it and got it road worthy. And for the past nine years it has served us well, getting Matt to his regular appointments, and occasional emergency trips to the hospital.
I say it has served us well, that is, until the past few months. Every few weeks one system or another breaks down, and repairs are getting more costly. This past June on the hottest day of the summer, it broke down on the highway on the way to a doctor’s appointment. Sandy had to call an ambulance to get Matt back home, and we had the van towed. Shortly after that $800 repair, the door to the wheelchair ramp stopped functioning correctly. Because all the parts are after market, and since they are so old (and not all the parts are still available), the door can’t be fixed. And the "Service Engine" light has just added another $500 diagnosis. Who knows what is getting ready to fail next.
In short, it’s time for the old girl to retire.
This means we need a replacement vehicle. A new wheelchair accessible van costs in the neighborhood of $70,000 to $80,000. However, we’re not looking for a new vehicle. We just need something reliable with around 100,000 miles. Used vans run between $25,000 and $30,000. But that is still out of our price range.
That is why we are turning to you.
It is with sincerest humility that we ask for your help, however much that may be. And of course, if you are not able to contribute right now, please share our story as widely as you can. Every drop in the bucket helps. Matt doesn't have another appointment for a couple of months, but we would really like to get this van before the new year.
Although we have set the GoFundMe goal for $30,000, we will be happy with however much comes our way, and finance the rest. Our deepest thanks to you all.