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John's New Handicapped Van Fund

$400 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 8 people in 46 months
My name is John, I am disabled with a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy called Spinal Muscular Atrophy, or SMA. I have been wheelchair bound for most of my life. Some may call this a curse, but I don’t see it that way. I am blessed to be alive, as I know that if I had been born with any other form of Muscular Dystrophy I would not even be alive today.

I remember as a child attending Muscular Dystrophy (MD) camp being the only child in a wheelchair. I watched as other children with MD were still able to run around and play. As I returned to the camp year after year, I saw those same children lose their ability to move without help. Eventually, they too would be wheelchair bound, and most of them have since passed away. I may not be able to walk and do many things that others can do, but I am still ALIVE!

Despite my disability I am still able to continue working, and have done so, but lately getting to work has become an issue. On October 26, 2014 my handicap van was totaled in a hit-and-run accident. The second vehicle left the scene. Despite having a broken right arm, three breaks in my left leg, and a dislocated hip and collarbone, I have managed to heal near completely. The loss of my van has severely impacted my life because it makes it difficult to get to work.

Despite my disabilities I still work full-time. In fact, I recently became the operating partner in a local tax business. I don't have much money, but my partner told me he would purchase the business if I ran it. This was back last summer when I still had my dependable vehicle.

Being a working disabled man is tough. Being a working disabled man without a handicapped accessible van is devastating. Cabs and handicapped transport companies charge a small fortune to transport the disabled, and rides usually need to be scheduled 24 hours in advance. This isn't very practical for a handicapped man trying to work and keep his independence.

I am thankful that I was able to borrow a van to get to and from work. Unfortunately, this van has engine and mechanical issues. It really isn’t safe as there are not proper cables to hold my wheelchair in place when I drive. The thing is I don’t have the money to fix these issues, even if the van belonged to me. I am very thankful to those who have loaned me this vehicle. Nevertheless, if my loaner vehicle brakes down before this drive completes, I will not be able to live up to my side of the partnership. This is not something I can make up down the line either, the tax business is very seasonable, and if I miss work I will miss crucial deadlines and decisions. Everything I have built over the last year will fall apart.

I need a new van.

I am seeking to raise $30,000 to buy a new handicap accessible van that I can use to transport me to and from work. I am asking for your help to regain my freedom. Freedom to work. Freedom to live. Freedom to feel like a human being. A new handicapped accessible van would literally change my life. Please help me get my freedom back.

I am a private person and do not easily come forward to ask for help. Thank you to those who have already donated, I appreciate every one of you. To quote Gandalf, with every donation "hope is kindled! Seeing that someone cares really makes a difference.

Please donate to help me purchase a new handicap van. All money raised will be used solely for this purpose. Please give what you can, whether it is $5 or $500, each small donation is one step closer to reaching my goal. Please also help by spreading the word and sharing this page with others who may be able to help. Every share helps! I thank the many who have already donated, and any who do.

Please... Please dear friends, tell everyone you know. Thank you for helping! Thank you for giving!
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I'm sorry I have not checked in for a few days, work has been crazy. To those that have donated since my last update, thank you so much! Every little bit is one step closer.

As for my current transportation, the loaner van still works per se. It is getting me around. It is still having trouble with stalling. Today it stalled over a half dozen times after getting off the highway on the way home. I am really starting to get concerned.

To make matters worse, the AC died for over half the trip home before suddenly and loudly coming on. Not good for someone vulnerable to heatstroke in Phoenix. On the positive side, careful left turns have seemed to alleviate concerns over tipping over. Despite having no safety clamps, my wheelchair hasn't lifted off its left wheels in a couple weeks.

So to sum up, thank you for all of your support! I really appreciate everything you all have done for me.
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The loaner van is still acting up. Bottom line: I'm in trouble. I recently became the operating partner in a tax business. I don't have much money, but my financial partner told me he would purchase the business if I ran it. This was back last summer when I still had my dependable vehicle. If my loaner vehicle brakes down, and I do not have a replacement vehicle, I will not be able to live up to my side of the partnership. This is not something I can make up down the line, the tax business is very seasonable, and if I miss work I will miss crucial decisions. Everything I have built over the last year will fall apart.

I should have clarified this earlier. That is why I am pushing this drive so hard. And unreliable and unsafe loaner vehicle is really not a good long-term or short-term solution. Going to get real humble. If any of my new or old followers have any ability to help, please do so. If I do not get this drive going, any day can be the end of my financial well-being. If the loaner van goes out before this drive completes, I will not be able to get to work during this very crucial part of tax season. I do not want anybody to put themselves in financial jeopardy, but please if you can donate, please do. I will appreciate it greatly!
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Good and bad news today. The loaner van is now stalling while initially accelerating; we died twice in the middle of an intersection today. However, the overheating appears to be because of low coolant - thankfully something I can afford to fix. So that is taken care of!

In the short run, I feel a little better about using the loaner. In the long run, I still see the need for a van of my own again. I appreciate all everyone has given so far - a little help can go a long way. Please, if you cannot afford to donate, forward this on... every like or tweet generates momentum towards removing this barrier to my independence!
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Well, the loaner van I got started doing its idling stall really bad again. Started overheating too! It reinforces the need for this project. I am sorry, I am just not good at asking for help. It feels strange - but my better half keeps telling me that is pride. So I thank you all again for your help and support. I would not be here today without it.
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$400 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 8 people in 46 months
Created November 17, 2014
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$50
Lotus Lionheart
44 months ago

I hope you can get another van soon! You've helped me so much! I'll do the best I can with the limited funds I have :)

$20
Anonymous
44 months ago
NS
$100
Nancy schroder
45 months ago

God bless!

JH
$50
Julie Hartzell
46 months ago

We wish nothing but wonderful blessings to you John and Michelle! From the Hartzells :)

$50
Renea Mason-Snodgrass
46 months ago

Good luck with your Van campaign! And speedy healing!

DM
$50
Debbie Malone
46 months ago

I'm so sorry to hear about your van, John. I'm glad you are okay! I hope this helps :)

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