Hello, My name is Jamie. I am trying to help my sister, Janice and her son, Brenton.
Brenton was born on November 22, 2010 with spina bifida. He also has a shunt in his head due to Hydrocephalus. He has had multiple surgeries and is facing more. His next surgery is coming up in March, where he will be getting a colostomy bag.
Janice stays at home full-time with Brenton. She isn't in a situation to afford to buy or finance a vehicle, much less a handicap accessible one. My parents bought Janice a used 2002 Dodge Neon (for about $3,500.00) when she graduated high school in 2005. It has done her well these past years. Of course, nobody anticpated that she would bring a wonderful human being into this world that would have complications. Her little Dodge is starting to fall apart. I'm not a mechanic, so I can't go into detail as I would like on what is wrong with it. I do know for the past couple weeks, she has had to call courtsey patrol to come and get her vehicle jumped/started.
My parents and I both live over an hour away from her so it's hard for us to be there in person for her. We usually have to have her towed or if she makes it to a shop we usually call and pay for whatever it is she needs over the phone. When my dad is in town he goes to Janice's and fixes what he can with her vehicle at that time. When Brenton has doctor appointments (at Shriner's in Lexington, KY) my mom will travel over an hour to pick Janice up, take them to Shriner's (another hour+ ) and once the appoitment is over, she drives them back home and then herself.
Not only is her car starting to wear down, but it also isn't big enough to fit herself, Brenton and his wheelchair plus the other bags of necessities she travels with for him. Brenton is growing more and more every day. When my sister takes him anywhere, she leaves his wheelchair behind and pushes him around in a stroller. He hates it. He loves the freedom of his wheelchair. (he loves to call everyone else slowpokes!)
My parent's are now looking at ways to try and afford to buy her a handicap accessible vehicle with a ramp. They want to try and get her one with low mileage and we have been looking in to Freedom Motors. We want a vehicle that will last her close to a lifetime. Therefore, we're looking at around $30,000.00. It would be very difficult for my parents to afford to finance that much. If I could raise them half that, they are sure they can afford to finance the other half.
My parents are true angels. They are always the ones to help others. They have time and time again stopped whatever they're doing for a phone call to help someone. They have even went as far as to help my elderly neighbor without her asking. I had helped her one day up to her steps and noticed her doors wouldn't close, she was closing them by tieing a rope around them and to a peg on her wall. Without hesitation my dad spent days upon days over there. She didn't have water, he fixed that. She could now close her doors. He was beginning to redo her kitchen floor when the city condemed her house. He has built houses for people for nothing in return. He always says "you can just owe me one" and that's it. For them to not be able to help Janice...it kills them. They are always the ones to offer help, and now they (and Brenton of course!) need help.
I will take the rest of this and post pictures of Brenton. If anything else, please share this with your family and friends. I do also have a GoFundMe account and am trying to get an EIN for a donations account at my bank.
Janice and Brenton, shortly after he was born.
Brenton was in the Nicu for a short while after he was born.
Brenton ended up having an infection in his left leg. You can see a little bit of discomfort and discoloration on his leg in this picture.
They had to give him an IV through his head for antibiotics. The infection healed, but they had to drill down to the bone to try and release it and in doing so his leg is stiff from the hip down to his knee.
This picture kind of shows his left leg after the infection. It's so stiff and it constantly looks swollen.
Christmas 2010 when he was still a little chubby guy!
Cheeeeeese! (don't be fooled, that's his "I'm a stinker" face)
Brenton straps into this for an hour at a time at least once a day to help try and strengthen his legs. It stands him upright.
Shriner's trip to fit him for a wheelchair!
He loves his harmonica! He loves music in general, especially Hank Williams!
Singing a little Hank, no doubt!
He loves his wheelchair (and taking the doggie out to the park)
Snow-pocalypse 2015 - Brenton approves!