Rob's New Wheelchair Van

My name is Kristen Steeves and I’m making this GoFund Me for my brother Robert so he can get a new wheelchair accessible van.  We live in Toronto, Ontario Canada with  our Mom. He has had a van for 22 years and the engine recently went on it so he had to take it off the road. Over the past 22 years he has done so much for so many people with his van. He always said he'd “go anywhere and do anything as long as he could get there in the van.” But first a bit about Rob.

Background

On Aug 7th 1993 at age 16 Rob and four others were in a bad head-on collision with a station wagon.  Two sets of paramedics responding to the scene thought everyone was dead, but by the grace of God they were alive.  Rob suffered the worst of the injuries braking his lower back at L2 and crushing his aorta arteria which caused the blood in his legs to be poisoned and the nerves to die leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.  In the days following the accident the doctors told us to say goodbye to him each night because he wouldn’t live till morning. But each morning he was still alive and in time he was out of the woods and on his way to recovering. In the end he left the hospital and rehab six months after the accident paralyzed from the waist down.  He was told by doctors and therapists there would be a lot of things he couldn’t do, but he wouldn’t take that and he fought.  Now there’s just about nothing he can’t do (accept climb stairs and ladders).  He shovels the snow at home and church, cuts grass, builds things, does repairs at home and the church and with the aid of his van helps everyone he can.

The Next 24 Year’s

Life hasn’t been easy for Rob or our family over the past 24 years.  He’s been plagued with pressure sores which have put him in the hospital many times, left him with serious infections, put him on weeks and months of bed rest and through many surgeries. At one point he spent two years on bed rest because of a pressure sore, but through it all his spirits were high and he helped where ever he could.  He’s also had two major infections which almost killed him but he fought through it all.  Eight years ago we lost our father to cancer which was a hard time for us all.  Rob stayed strong and dealt with the lawyer and the woman our father was living with. Since then Rob has paid all the bills for the house and made sure my Mom and I are taken care of.  Four years ago our mom lost her sight and is now legally blind which has made it difficult on us all.  Rob used his old van to take her to appointments and the CNIB for various programs, but now he can’t.  Since Sept he’s been in and out of hospital three times because of an infection in his left leg. The last time being over New Year’s where they discovered four infections which wrecked havoc on his body and left him weak. He’s now home recovering and getting stronger.  That’s just a few of the things he’s been through since being paralyzed.

Who Rob Is…

Rob is like no one I’ve ever met. Not only would he give you the shirt off his back, he would take you wherever you wanted to go and finally he would  go without (whatever) so you could have it. Hands down he the most selfless person I have ever met. One huge thing he does  is help out and autistic teen and his family at our church. Rob calms him when he’s angry, talks to him when he's stressed and anxious and Rob takes him out places when he's good or wants to do something. I know it sounds strange but until he met his fiancé his best friend was Blue (his van).  He was the happiest while driving, especially when he was helping someone out. He always says something our Dad used to say “the good Lord gave me the van to use it for His purpose and if I don’t I He'll take it away.” He takes that to heart and will drive anyone anywhere especially at night to make sure they make it home safely no matter how far or how late it gets him home.  He's driven

-kids to camp in Huntsville

-a friend to Ottawa for a flight

-a teen at church to piano every week for two years because she had a concussion and needed the rest

-kids and teens to and from church for various activities and services

-friends stranded at 1am needing a ride

-our mom to and from  pottery every Monday and a friend of hers home

-his godson to and from hockey when he could and was needed

-our Grandmother to medical appointments when needed

-a teen from church to and from her chiropractor for two years

-seniors home from church (two ladies for two years until they stopped coming )

-numerous people home from the hospital and airport

-drove the autistic teen to his Autism and behavioral classes

He's like a cab, but will never ask for anything and only take money when it’s insisted and he's gotten the “look”.  Without his van Rob is half the person he was and it’s hit him quite hard. Blue was an extension of his body just as his wheelchair is. If he's able to get a new one he'll be able to continue helping all those that he has been for many years and continue do what he's here to do…help people.

How You Can Help

A new van will cost him about $50,000 and that’s with using the lift, hand controls and seat from his old van. He has some money saved up, but right now he’s not working and pretty much confined to bed while he builds his strength. Any amount will help him get closer to getting a new van without killing his savings or putting him in debt.  Thank you for taking the time to read this and thank you in advance for your donation.

Donations

  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 20 mos
  • Melanie Palapal 
    • $100 
    • 25 mos
  • Mike & Lynne Auger 
    • $500 
    • 25 mos
  • Peggy Bendell 
    • $40 
    • 26 mos
  • Kelley Mulligan-Paoletti 
    • $45 
    • 26 mos
See all

Organizer

Kristen Steeves 
Organizer
North York, ON
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