My name is Cara Gregg. I am doing something I have never done before. For years I have raised money for non-profits and other friends' personal needs. This time, I am writing to ask for help to get something for myself.
For a while now, I have been dealing with diagnoses which include Multiple Sclerosis, Reynaud's Phenomenom, and Scleroderma. (If you would like to learn a little more about these diseases, there are links at the bottom of my page.) These diseases have resulted in my becoming permanently disabled. The Scleroderma has caused Interstitial Lung Disease which came up very quickly and in six months time, has progressed to the point where I am now on oxygen 24/7. Often unable to walk, talk, or even eat without becoming winded, I must often use my power chair. At times, when eating, I aspirate food or drink which causes chocking. Aspiration can cause pneumonia. This is can be life-threatening for a person with compromised lungs. Unfortunately, scleroderma is a terminal illness.
As a result of my various health problems, I need reliable transportation that I can use to travel to and from specialists, infusion treatments, hospitals, the scleroderma center at Rutgers University Hospital in New Jersey, and to continue my volunteer work at Fido’s for Freedom and Special Olympics Howard County for as long as I am able.
I am a single woman who is living alone, on a fixed income, and I need reliable transportation. Any van I purchase will need to be modified in order to allow easy access to transport my power wheelchair, rolling walker, oxygen tanks & carrier and Tank, my certified assistance dog.
My Quest to Remain Independant and Receive Treatment
I have contacted two auto dealers (Ride Away, Beltsville, MD and Bedco, Baltimore, MD) that specialize in modifying vehicles making them handicap accessible. The cost of a van that meets my needs is $22,000 (used) for which I will get financing. The conversion to make it handicap accessible is an additional $27,000.
I am looking at every possible source of funding and have started the ball rolling. I was able to secure $3,000 from a local county program. Since I am on disability, I can't pick up extra shifts at work or get a part time job to help fund this project. I am asking for your help to secure a future that will allow me to safely transport myself to all my doctor’s appointments to receive life-sustaining treatment.
How Can You Help?
If you are an independent business owner, can you hold a fundraiser on my behalf? Do you belong to a civic, religious, or fraternal organization that does charitable work? Do you have a favorite restaurant that does fundraisers on behalf of people with disabilites? Please contact them to see if they will volunteer a night where a percentage of sales will go toward my accessible vehicle. Will you make a small, personal donation? Will you please share this with your friends and family? Any and all help that you can give me moves me one step closer to my dream!
Thank you in advance for your support,
Cara and Tank
Links to additional information