My name is Melissa and I’m a single mum to a beautiful girl; her name is Grace.
Grace was born with Athetoid Cerebral Palsy with low muscle tone. She has severe Scoliosis and suffers from a sensory processing disorder
and a sleep disorder.
Up till now I have managed to lift Grace in and out of my current vehicle but as Grace is getting older and is now 12 years old and weighs 40kg I can no longer do this. Grace is a very happy girl and loves going out in the car, but it has become such a struggle for me that outings have become a thing of the past and we are now house bound.
Lifting Grace up in and out of the vehicle and pushing her wheelchair up ramps into the back has taken it's toll on me. The manual handling has become too dangerous and I'm at serious risk of injuring my back and if this happens I will not be able to take care of her.
I have looked into having my current vehicle modified for wheelchair access but this is not possible. My only other option is to purchase a wheelchair accessible vehicle, this means I could transport Grace in her wheelchair reducing the manual handling and not risk injury to my back.
It would mean that I could continue with the numerous appointments she has, it would also mean that Grace and I wouldn't be house bound all the time and we could go out and enjoy trips in the car. I would have total independence and the freedom to do the things I would love to do with Grace that everyone takes for granted, for example going to the supermarket which is a total nightmare, getting ramps out lifting Grace putting her into the wheelchair, just to go in and get a few groceries becomes a task which can take over an hour.
I'm working with Grace's OT (Occupational Therapist), Freedom Motors and NDIS to try and make this possible.
NDIS do have very strict criteria and process to follow:
⦁ Vehicle has to be less than 5 years old,
⦁ Vehicle assessment has to be done carried out by the OT. Freedom Motors will come out to my house with a number of modified vehicles, take dimensions of Grace's wheelchair, test the wheelchair in the vehicle and for me to test drive the vehicle myself.
⦁ We need to have the vehicle for the next 10 years, so in saying that, as a child grows so does the wheelchair, so we need to make sure that Grace's next wheelchair will work with the vehicle.
⦁ Once a suitable vehicle has been found the OT will then submit an AT application to NDIS for approval.
⦁ Once approved by NDIS, Freedom motors will work with me to get the vehicle and do the modifications.
Under no circumstances will NDIS fund the purchase of the vehicle and I have been advised that the vehicle will cost $25,000 which is to be paid by myself, NDIS will help fund the modifications which are estimated around $28,000.
So my mission is to try and raise $25,000 to help purchase the vehicle as I am unable to work due to Grace needing 24/7 care and being on a career pension I am unable to get a loan.
If you could support my GoFundMe by making a donation and then sharing it with your network, I would greatly appreciate it. I know that money can be tight, so please know that even $5 helps me get closer to my goal!
Please feel free to have a look at the vehicles that can be modified for wheelchair access https://www.freedommotorsaustralia.com.au/new-vehicle-wheelchair-accessible-conversions/
Love and best wishes
Mel & Grace x