Move Mountains for Tonda!

THE BACKSTORY

My Mom was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in September 2012.    
(Click on the following link to learn more about MS.)  https://www.gstatic.com/healthricherkp/pdf/multiple_sclerosis.pdf 
Her symptoms began in 2007 when she began noticing numbness in her feet and hands.  She was misdiagnosed for five years as having a pinched nerve and needing knee replacements.  After having her second knee replacement and not being able to fully recover, her physical therapist noticed symptoms of MS and encouraged her to see her neurologist for an MRI. 

Since being diagnosed, she has had many challenges. 
Two of the things that she misses the most are being able to walk or drive a car. 

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One of her biggest challenges is learning how to rely on others’ help as she is limited in things she can do for herself.  She has been a very independent person my entire life.  She has always enjoyed doing things for other people so to now have to rely on others is a big challenge for her. 

VAN BLESSINGS & VAN PROBLEMS

Two years ago, a loving couple blessed her with a 30-year-old handicapped accessible lift van. 

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It has served her well.  She has been able to go more places that she couldn’t go before having the lift van.  One problem with an older van is that the lift will not lift her 450lb wheelchair with her in the wheelchair.  She must be transferred to a manual wheelchair.  My Dad will then load the powerchair by its self and then load my Mom in her manual chair.  Once my parents get to their destination everything must be done in reverse to get her back into her powerchair.  In preparing to return home,  everything must be done in reverse to get her back into her manual chair.  When they return home, everything is done in reverse AGAINThe effects of Multiple Sclerosis are unpredictable.  Some days she is stronger than others.  On her weak days, her legs have collapsed, and she has fallen while trying to accomplish these transfers from one chair to another.  Since she has no use of her legs, the fire department/EMS has to be called to get her up and back into a wheelchair. 

Over the summer, the AC went out in the van.  The mechanic told us that he was able to fix it the best that he could but didn’t know how much longer the wiring would last.  Since the van is so old, parts were not able to be found.  The frame and body are severely rusted from being in the northern snow for many years.  During September 2018, we started having mechanical issues with the van.  My Dad would take her to scheduled doctor’s and physical therapy appointments and the van would continually overheat. When they would go to leave their destination, the van would not start.  A couple of months ago, the lift mechanism in the van quit working as my Dad was letting her down.  The fire department had to be called to help.  She was suspended in air.  (See video below.)  My Dad’s car does not accommodate her large powerchair.   


LIVING DANGEROUSLY

Since the van will no longer start, she began taking our local hospitals transportation buses to her physical therapy and doctor’s appointments.  When she is ready to come home, she has had to wait two hours or more to be picked up.  Over the past month, she has decided that she will drive her powerchair home.  This trip is five miles and not all the trip is lined with sidewalks. 

One day recently, I got out of college early and called to see how things were at home.  She told me that she was at the local Wal-Mart and to come here and take the groceries home so that she wouldn’t have to try and carry them all on her powerchair.  On this day, I followed her home with my emergency lights flashing.  In astonishment, I watched as an 18-wheeler barely made it past her.  My heart felt like it was stuck in my throat!  Drivers of cars would get impatient and go speeding around me and barely miss hitting her as they would pass by. 

CAUGHT HER AGAIN......


THE COSTS

My Mom’s name is Tonda Wyant.  She needs a reliable handicapped accessible van.  It would be awesome if it would be a van that was equipped with hand controls to enable her to get some of her independence back.  Independence would allow her more self-confidence since she is unable to walk. 


A used handicapped accessible van can cost approximately $30,000 - $40,000 and a new handicapped-accessible van can cost approximately $80,000.  Almost two years ago, my Dad retired early to be her primary caregiver. 

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Since he's retired, their finances have been drastically cut.  There is no extra money to be applied towards a monthly van payment. 

HOW YOU CAN HELP

All the funds raised will go towards the purchase of an accessible van for my Mom.  The sooner I can get her off unsafe roads in her powerchair and inside a van with her powerchair the better.  For my sanity and for her safety, would you please consider donating to this cause? 

There isn't a donation too little or too big...any amount helps, whether $10, $20, $50, $100, $1000 or MORE.  Your support would mean the world to me and my Mom.  We will be eternally grateful for all support given. 

HELP PASS THE WORD:

To help me get the word out, you can share my link to your Facebook Timeline, Twitter or Instagram accounts.


God Bless You!

Emily Wyant (daughter of Tonda Wyant)
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Organizer

Emily Wyant 
Organizer
Spartanburg, SC
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