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17 Year Old CP Disabled Child Needs Government Grant Money For Handicap Van

by Joni Anderson
(Loxley, AL, USA)

I am helping a 17-year-old child with CP. I'm looking for government grant money to help his dad buy a handicap van.

His mother died in December and his father is new to the system and is unaware of any assistance available.

My background is in education and special education and so I have become a sort of advocate for him. Austin will graduate this year from high school but not with a regular diploma.

I have been to meetings for him, helped his dad take him on outings and helped with doctor's appointments.

At the present moment I am working to help him get a new wheelchair because his is not working. Someone loaned him one but he keeps slipping out because it is too big. This is his only mode of transportation since he can't walk at all.

Austin has the best attitude and sense of humor I have seen in a long time. Most people I run across have many things to complain about, but as I have learned from Austin I have nothing to complain about.

He is always happy, funny and never complains about anything. He doesn't complain about the wheelchair, and he doesn't complain when he is in pain.

He doesn't complain when the medicine that keeps him from having spasms is running low and he is jerking around and itching all over.

It is just his father and him living alone. His father has very little income and several medical problems, including his back.

The only way for him to move Austin around is to pick him up like you would a baby and place him in the truck, roll his chair into the back of the truck and when the destination is reached he has to roll the chair out and lift him back in the chair.

He is a wonderful father and takes Austin out as much as possible. I have seen him go to lift Austin and his back lock up and can see the pain on his face. He won't let Austin see; he just tells him to wait a second and then he moves him.

I mentioned to him about the handicapped vehicles that have a lift that Austin could drive onto and he would not have to lift him and they could get out more.

I helped him look on the Internet for them and he said there was no way he could afford them.

I know there has to be some way to get them a handicapped van. I am afraid his dad's back will go out for good and then what will they do.

If there is any help for this situation, please let me know.

Thank you,

Joni Anderson

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Nov 25, 2010
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Connections
by: Dottie C.

After reading your story, the first thing that popped in my mind was to have a report from the local newspaper come over and do a story. Perhaps that might spark some interest and local people would take an interest and get their wallets out. Just a thought.

All of you will be in my prayers. I know what Austin's dad goes through since I too suffer from back issues and it's not fun. Thank God Austin is positive, since that's half the battle.

Your story has been an inspiration to me, since I too have a story here at ability-mission.org. Best of luck and love.

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