Melissa is a 45 year old wife and mother. She also happens to be a paraplegic due to an automobile accident, in 1983. Despite her injury, Melissa has lead a very productive and fulfilling life. Melissa, was only 17 at the time of this accident. She was injured the summer of her junior year in high school. She spent the first few months of her senior year in a rehab center. She kept up with her studies and still managed to graduate on time, with her class. After high school, she went to Lakeshore Rehabilitation Facility. Here, she learned to adapt to her life on wheels. After completing a business education course, she was soon gainfully employed. She made the transition from her hometown, Beatrice Alabama, to Birmingham, Alabama. Being as she didn't have transportation, Melissa took a taxi to work for nearly a year, until she had saved enough to buy a car with hand controls. Since her injury Melissa has married and had a daughter, Carly, who is now 13 years old. When she was told she was pregnant, she was also beginning to have chronic pain in her upper body. The many years of pushing a wheelchair and loading and unloading it in/out of her car, had taken a toll on her arms and shoulders. Her doctor, highly recommended that she begin to use a motorized chair, to prevent any further damage. Doing so, brought on the need for a van equipped with a lift. This gave Melissa much more freedom and it allowed her to care for her baby independently, as far as traveling goes. She could load the baby, get her buckled into a car seat and take her places without help. Her van, is now 14 years old and it has 195,000 miles on it. This van, will not travel many more miles. The lift is actually broken at this time. The lift is so old and outdated that parts can not be found. We are praying that one can be found on an old lift somewhere, so that she will have transportation until we can reach our goal. That is where you guys come in. We need YOUR help. There is no donation too SMALL or too LARGE!!! Any and all of them will be so appreciated, and as it is said, Every Little Bit Helps!! We have got to keep this amazing woman ROLLING!!! Melissa, has been such an incredible inspiration to me in our 18 years of friendship. When I met her, she had just given up her title as Ms. Wheelchair Alabama. She spent the year traveling the state, educating people on the architectural and attitudinal barriers that people with disabilities face. She was the head spokesperson for UAB's Think First Program for 4 years. This is a head and spinal cord injury prevention program. Sadly, the program is no longer in Alabama. I feel certain, that she had an impact on thousands of children. She educated them on how head and spinal cord injuries occur and how they can sometimes be prevented. Speaking on everything from the dangers drinking and driving to riding bikes with helmets. Melissa, is and has been an active "Roll Model" for Spain Rehabilitatiion Center for about 25 years. When needed, Melissa will go in to meet with newly injured patients and talk with them on any concerns they have about going home. Whenever she has been faced with adversity, she handles it with a smile on her face and I am so thankful for our freindship. Seeing her struggle just because the type of transportation she needs is so incredibly expensive breaks my heart and many others that are close to her. So, I ask that you, please help us by donating to this wonderful cause. I thank you for taking the time to read this and I thank for donating. Please feel free to spread the word. ~ Tresa Love
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