MS Disabled Woman Seeks Grant Money For Wheelchair Van Modifications
by LeeAnne Lapum
( San Lorenzo, CA, USA)
I was diagnosed with chronic/progressive multiple sclerosis in 1992. At first, balance was an issue. I was able to get around using a walker.
Eventually, in time, I was unable to use it. I am now wheelchair-bound. My husband has to transfer me. Due to back problems he is often unable to do that.
I only get out of the house for doctors/dental appointments. I'm unable to work due to the fact that there are times I'm unable to stabilize my hand movements.
I not only have to deal with the disease but I also have to deal with being totally isolated from the "outside world."
I'm unable to cook, shop, clean house, do laundry, feed myself, shower myself, etc. My husband does it all, while working full-time as a teacher in a small, private Christian school.
He works 7:30 AM until 11:00 PM. He is so exhausted that he barely has energy to function. I don't feel it's right of me to ask him if he feels up to lifting me into our vehicle.
But living on a VERY TIGHT BUDGET in California means there is absolutely no way we can afford to make our vehicle handicap accessible.
We own a 2006 Toyota Highlander. My husband looked online at Toyota mobility's site. He found that they offer a seat that rotates, comes out of the car and lowers to wheelchair level.
I would be able to be transferred from my wheelchair onto the seat without involving lifting. My husband had spoken with them.
They match the upholstery of the vehicle. You put down half the cost upon ordering and the balance upon delivery/installation.
The reason I'm writing you is this -- the cost of the unit is $10,750. There is absolutely no way we could afford that.
Not only that, my husband would have to rent a car for two days while it is being installed. We can't afford that either.
Is there any way we can get assistance? I'm thrilled there is some available but disappointed in knowing it's out of our reach.
My husband and I are both 56 years old. We need help. We are also concerned whether this is a tax-free grant. We can't afford the taxes.
Thank you so much for your time and consideration and for any help in directing us to government transportation grants or any equivalent assistance.
Mrs. LeeAnne Lapum