Hi, my name is Monty Connor and I am Mark's service dog and right hand canine. It is my desire to see Mark achieve all that he is capable of and that includes giving him much needed transportation. His mom, Madeleine Beary, has joined me in this cause and I will let her give a little background on his needs.
Thanks Monty! My husband and I were blessed with two sons; Mark (born in 1992) and David (born in 1987). When their father died in 2005, he had been living with a genetic neurological disorder called Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 3 (also known as Machado-Joseph Disease), which you can read a little more about on this website http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machado-Joseph_disease. The one wish we had was that neither of our sons would be afflicted with this disease. Unfortunately, that was not to be and in 2009 both of our sons were diagnosed at NIH as having inherited this disease. Watching their courage and persistence has been an inspiration for me as their mother.
As a single mother with both sons at home due to the disease's progression, I am finding it increasingly difficult to provide them with needed transportation. Mark's needs include transportation for medical appointments and to pursue his college goals. Although David is still ambulatory, one of his symptoms is bletherospasm which causes his eyelids to close involuntarily for up to a few minutes at a time. This condition does not allow him to drive. I have found a wonderful company that can provide a van and make the necessary modifications to allow an electric wheelchair and Monty to easily get into and out of this vehicle. I can get a loan for the $30,000 cost of the van itself (used) but the cost of the modifications will run about $26,000. With Monty's assistance, we are asking for your help to realize the dreams for both Mark and David.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts