Two Local Heroes Take Delivery Of New Wheelchair Accessible Vans!
The DeLuca Family
Kristen DeLuca prayed for a healthy child all through her pregnancy. When her son Connor was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), Type 3, at two years old, she didn’t fall apart or give up. She decided to make sure his life was as full and as normal as possible. At five years-old, Connor uses a power wheelchair for mobility. However, Kristen refuses to say “my son just can’t do it” and instead consistently asks “how can I make my son a part of that?” A part of living that philosophy is the proper transportation for their family. When we met the DeLuca family, they were driving a 2002 minivan that had 150,000+ miles and were using a trifold portable ramp to load Connor’s chair. In March, the DeLuca family participated in the local MDA Walk Fundraiser where they met Paul Erway and Todd Winchester with Superior Van & Mobility. After chatting with them about van options (new, used, side entry, rear entry), Todd and Paul told them about the Local Hero Van Giveaway contest sponsored by NMEDA (National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association) and part of National Mobility Awareness Month. Kristen entered the contest with hope that through votes for her son’s story, they would win a new lowered floor wheelchair accessible van for her family. Although the family did not win the van, they did learn a lot about van options and choices through Todd and Paul. After shopping and comparing some vans through the summer, the family attended the Superior Van & Mobility October Open House where they were able to secure a pre-owned Vision Conversion / Rear Entry Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle! Congrats!
The Hall Family
A Shelbyville, KY family finally received the wheelchair accessible van they long wished for! Glenn Hall is a 14 year old that was born with a rare chromosomal disease, partial trisomy 6Q, and is confined to a wheelchair. Partial trisomy 6Q is an extremely rare chromosomal disorder in which a portion of the 6th chromosome is present three times rather than twice in the cells of the body. Due to this disorder, many children suffer from slow physical development, abnormal bending or extension of certain joints, and other physical abnormalities. In early Spring 2012, the Hall family entered the same Local Hero Van Giveaway contest sponsored by NMEDA (National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association) as the DeLuca’s. They too did not win a wheelchair accessible van, however, their drive on Facebook to gain votes for their story drew attention from their community, specifically from the local First Christian Church which formed an official “Van For Glenn” fundraising committee. After getting attention from the Shelby County Community Charities as well, the entire city pitched in and helped raise money through events like bake sales, cookouts, and a dinner with silent auction. The goal was to raise enough money to purchase the lowered floor conversion van by Christmas Eve, 2012. Their fundraising efforts were so successful that the family was able to take delivery a month and a half before their goal date at the “Light Up Shelbyville” tree lighting ceremony on November 10th. Superior’s own Paul Erway was present for the van presentation and was involved with fundraising efforts and the BraunAbility Companion Van purchase rom the beginning. Congrats to the Hall family and we look forward to hearing about how they are using their new van!