Last week, we were able to help a dream come true for the Butler family. After much waiting, we were able to partner with Chive Charities and BraunAbility to provide Megan and her family with a wheelchair-accessible van.
We held an event at our Columbus location last Friday and gifted this van onto Heather, Paige, Megan and their grandparents, who were also present. It was a very emotional event where were able to provide this family with a truly life-changing gift.
“We just can’t thank you enough,” Megan’s mother Heather Butler said through tears. “Chive, BraunAbility, M.C.; it’s just so overwhelming. This is just life changing for us.”
This van comes to the Butler family after a lifetime of transportation issues, which have often caused Megan to lose the desire to leave the house. It was such a challenge for Heather to get Megan and her chair safely into their old vehicle, which was not wheelchair-accessible. Rather, this vehicle had a specialized car seat in an effort to get Megan out of the house more easily, which did not work over time.
Watching this family light up at the sight of their new van was a joy for all of us here at M.C. Mobility. The smile on Paige’s face as she operated the ramp for the first time. The way that Megan’s face lit up as she was rolled up into the van and easily secured by the hooks. The tears that Heather (and all of us) fought back as Mike Siebert, one of M.C.’s Mobility Consultants, taught her how to operate the van and explained that it was now hers.
In Mike’s words, “This is why we do what we do. This makes work not work.”
Megan and her twin sister Paige were born 10 weeks early, and while Paige was given the okay to go home after about a month in the hospital, Megan had more issues following birth. An infant brain scan revealed that Megan would have significant disabilities, and was later diagnosed with Periventricular Leukomalacia. This has led to a lot of hardships in life, but the love and bond between this family was very much on display in our short time meeting them last week.
Chive Charities recently released Megan’s full story, from her childhood until now, which can be found here. Here is one excerpt that shows how difficult things became for Megan.
“Megan became a recluse, weighed down by her chronic pain and limited mobility. She couldn’t control her disorders, the tumors, or the aches. The only thing she could control was how she responded to it all. She could only cope… and she preferred to cope alone. To watch the light leave her was indescribably painful for her family. She no longer left the house but elected to stay in her room, watching movies, and passing time.”
Chive launched a campaign to raise money for Megan and her family to have this wheelchair-accessible van, and in all they were able to raise $48,000 for this amazing family.
The van that we presented the Butler’s with was a brand new 2016 Dodge Caravan SE Entervan XT. The van has a side-entry ramp and Mike was able to teach them how to operate the ramp and securements in a matter of minutes.
We asked the Butler family where the first place that they were going to go in their new van was, to which they quickly answered: the Aladdin play. Or, Megan’s favorite place: Walmart. While these are humorous answers, they really do point to the beautiful fact that, in reality, the Butler family can now go wherever they want. The freedom that Megan has lacked for most of her life has now been realized. Chive summarized it best in their article,
“Few have overcome the hardships that Megan has. How many of us can say we have had to fight to reach milestones, to communicate, to simply stay out of pain? When your life becomes an uphill battle, it can be easy to forget why you have to work so hard just to make it through the day. Sometimes you just want to stop. Take a break. Catch your breath.
And Megan deserves that, she deserves a moment to shut out the world. But she also deserves to be reminded that she has fought for her life. And she didn’t fight for a life of sitting in her room. She should have access to all the activities that interest her. She should be able to jump in the car at the last minute to join her sister and their friends for a football game. She should be able to say ‘yes’ to trying something new. She should have the independence to experience the world… an independence the rest of us take for granted.”
So from all of us here at M.C. Mobility, congratulations Megan, Heather and Paige. You deserve this, and we are so happy to be a part of this miracle in your lives.
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