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150 donations

This fundraiser ended on 03/25/15

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My Mom has Multiple Sclerosis, and needs a new wheelchair van

My mom has been battling secondary-progressive Multiple Sclerosis over the last 30 years. Over that time, she went back to school in her 30's and graduated from the University of Massachusetts, worked as a substitute teacher and home health aide, and raised a son throughout (that's me). Unfortunately, she's been quadriplegic for the last several years; despite this, she lives at home with the help of family and a number of personal heath aides, and maintains independence and level of energy inspiring to everyone around her, even managing to continue pursuing her greatest passion, writing, now about her day-to-day experience living with MS.

Her current wheelchair van is shown in the photos above. While it's never been much to look at, it has over the last 10 years been essential in allowing my Mom to go about living her life to the fullest: enjoying concerts and movies, going shopping for food and clothes, seeing doctors of all sorts, and visiting family, especially her mother and her new grandchildren (twin girls!).

The van was already very used when it was purchased, but my father (a skilled auto mechanic) has thankfully been able to keep it in reasonable running condition. It's at the end of its road now, though: it needs a new transmission (it can't go in reverse anymore!), the air conditioning has failed (a serious thing during the summer for someone with MS), and the body has rusted beyond any hope of repair.

So, my mom needs a new wheelchair van. Brand-new wheelchair-accessible vans are often top $30,000, but we don't need anything so fancy. We're looking to purchase a new-used van in good shape that will last for a long while. We don't have a particular van in mind yet (though we have been keeping an eye out), so the exact cost is not entirely clear yet. If any funds are left over after purchasing a van, they'll be used to defray the costs of insurance, taxes, and repairs over the coming years.

I, my family, and my mom will be grateful for any little bit you can spare to help!

Thank you so much in advance for your help and kind thoughts…

— Chas Emerick

P.S. If you want to hear from my mom directly, the best way is to read and follow her blogging at https://darly003.wordpress.com

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