Wheelchair Accessible Van Help

Hello! It is really hard to askfor help...or to come to the realization you need help. I have transverse myelitis, have been a quadriplegic for 18 years and have to use a power wheelchair since both legs are paralyzed and my left hand is completely contracted. I am single and support myself financially by teacher retirement disbursements (from public schools) and a part time teaching job (yes, I still teach - wheelchair and all!).  I honestly try to be a contributing member of society instead of taking social assistance. The added difficulty is...I have to pay for a caregiver to come in the morning and evening to get me dressed, in/out of bed and everything, and that $700/month puts a big dent in my budget as it is unfortunately not covered by insurance. I am also still paying out some medical bills and trying to get my credit card paid down from when I was really sick and in the hospital eight times a couple of years ago. I lost a lot of weight. (picture of puny me with some play 'hipster' glasses - my son thought it was so funny!)
This leaves me very strapped for money and unable to afford any kind of extra payments.

Here is the dilemma: I own a 1999 full-size handicap van that has serious problems. I need to use it to get to work, doctors appointments and other regular life necessities. It won't start 90% of the time and we have to use jumper cables. The hydraulic lift has glitches and doesn't always work. I was stuck inside the van in a parking lot in 95º for 45 minutes last summer. It's not unusual to sit there for 15-20 minutes to get the lift to work. That is scary and not safe.

The plan is to sell this old van (maybe $8-10K?) and put the money towards a newer, smaller, more economical van. My local Center for Independent Living has a modified Ford Transit Connect which is perfect. My son looked up used ones and there are a number of 2016's for around $20K, plus I would have to pay for modifications. I would like just a simple fold out ramp - not hydraulic. They look like this:
That will leave me about $16-18K short. I was going to try to raise some money selling my oil paintings and doing some online tutoring. Several of my friends suggested doing GoFundMe because there are always people willing to help. I have been hesitant because I'm stubborn and try really hard to be independent, but after months of deliberation I'll admit...I really could use some help.

I don't know how long it will take, but I am going to work on my paintings the next few months and figure out some ways to sell those. The art gallery downtown is interested in taking a look and a nearby vineyard also displays local artists. I hope to have enough money by the end of the year.

If you are able and find it in your heart to help me, a teacher with a 'few' mobility challenges, it would mean the world to me to have a reliable means of transportation! I will be extremely honored and grateful! Thank you and have a blessed day!

Donations

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  • Carol Conant  
    • $1,830 
    • 38 mos
  • Wil & Vida Wilhelm 
    • $100 
    • 42 mos
  • ClarissaWhite Vaber 
    • $100 
    • 42 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 42 mos
  • Ann Cochran 
    • $100 
    • 42 mos
See all

Organizer

Kathyna Hatla 
Organizer
Bryan, TX
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