Van-tastic in Little Rock

32139030_1534268244971253_r.jpegA nice family needs some help.  Aaron and Michelle DerGazarian met in college, have been married for nearly 30 years and have a lot of joy in their lives, like two fine kids.  Jonathan is lead guitarist in a great band (Deep Sequence) and Alex just graduated with a BA degree in art from Hendrix.  Aaron and Michelle have also weathered some tough times, including a house fire in McCrory in 1993, a car accident in 1997, and some serious health issues.  They both worked at the same company in Little Rock for years (DataPath), but Michelle had to retire four years ago when her condition became too painful for her to continue to work.  

Michelle has a condition called Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (formerly known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy) that causes extreme pain, heightened sensitivity, and muscle spasms in her feet, legs, hands, and arms.  She has had numerous surgeries and treatments over the years to try to slow the progress of CRPS but it has taken its toll.  The pain associated with the CRPS became so extreme that it reduced her mobility and caused her to become wheelchair dependent five years ago.  

The CRPS continued to progress.  The pain in Michelle’s hands made it impossible for her to propel herself in her wheelchair.  Additionally, transferring out of her wheelchair into a car is extremely difficult and painful.  Michelle has therefore been limited to attending only those events that were absolute necessities, such as doctor’s appointments.

A very good thing came their way a few months ago. Michelle was able to obtain a power wheelchair, which has done wonders to provide mobility around the house.  

Aaron’s vehicle, however, is not wheelchair accessible, so Michelle still has to go through the painful process of transferring between the wheelchair and the car whenever she goes anywhere and back again when she gets there.  The power chair’s size and weight make it impossible to transport in a car.

I asked Michelle and Aaron if I could start a GoFundMe site so their family and friends from all around the world could help them purchase a good used wheelchair-accessible van that will enable Michelle to be a part of community life in more ways than she is able to do today.

Give what you wish but know that you are helping a nice family.  Thank you so much.
  • Amy Hughes  
    • $50 
    • 36 mos
  • Ada and John Heath 
    • $200 
    • 37 mos
  • Emily Garner 
    • $50 
    • 37 mos
  • Shelley Lee 
    • $50 
    • 37 mos
  • Bret Bonnell 
    • $100 
    • 37 mos
See all

Fundraising team (4)

Shelley Lee 
Raised $1,050 from 10 donations
Little Rock, AR
Aaron DerGazarian 
Team member
Raised $200 from 2 donations
Michelle Lee DerGazarian 
Team member
Raised $100 from 1 donation
Jonathan DerGazarian 
Team member
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