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Mother & Daughter Gain Liberty with a Wheelchair Accessible Van

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Author: Wouter Van Essen


Hear the story of Ashley, a 14 year old girl with Spina Bifida of how a wheelchair accessible van changed her life. She never liked how hard it was for her mother to lift her from her wheelchair into their vehicle and back whenever they wanted to go anywhere. Even a simple trip to the grocery store together was challenging. Read More...

Ashley was a 14 year-old girl with Spina Bifida. She never liked how hard it was for her mother to lift her from her wheelchair into their vehicle and back whenever they wanted to go anywhere. Even a simple trip to the grocery store together was challenging. Travelling in their old, unmodified van was a real back breaker for both Ashley and her mother, Tonia.

To travel in their unmodified van, Tonia had to lift Ashley from her wheelchair into the vehicle's seat. After Ashley was secure, the wheelchair had to be broken down and folded before it could be stored in the vehicle. Once Tonia and Ashley arrived at their destination, the entire process had to be repeated in reverse to help Ashley out of the vehicle back into her wheelchair. Traveling anywhere in their unmodified vehicle presented incredibly time consuming challenges. Tonia and Ashley both knew they needed a solution for their mobility challenges.

The process of raising funds to purchase a wheelchair accessible van was simpler than either Ashley or Tonia thought. Tonia was able to raise about $40,000 for a new wheelchair accessible van. President's Choice Children's Charity donated $20,000. Fundraising combined with donations from family, friends, local organizations and the money obtained from selling the old vehicle accounted for the remaining funds needed to buy a van with wheelchair access conversion.

"It did take a lot of time and effort, but I knew it would be well worth it! There are so many people willing to help out for a good cause", Tonia recalls.

Buying a Handicap Minivan

With funding finally in place, Tonia searched the Internet for a modified van that would give her and her daughter the mobility and independence they so desperately desired. Tonia quickly discovered the Liberty Motor Company. A quick call to the company's toll-free line resulted in a discussion with Mobility Specialist, Dave Mandic.

"Dave really helped me throughout this process by letting me know the differences in the conversions and all the little things I wouldn't have thought about. It wasn't easy to be in another province and purchase such an important vehicle without seeing it first", says Tonia.

Tonia's concerns about buying a vehicle through the Internet are not unusual. According to Dave, "when a dealer isn't available near the client, the client could be purchasing a vehicle without ever having seen it. At Liberty, we provide as much information about the vehicle and the conversion options as possible. We also provide a great number of pictures, which help our clients understand exactly what they're purchasing."

Liberty Motor Company's friendly and professional Mobility Specialists are committed to helping families of the disabled in any way necessary to ensure customers have a high level of confidence when making a purchase as significant as a wheelchair accessible vehicle.

"We also explain our Money-Back Guarantee and industry leading Lifetime Conversion Warranty. Keeping the client updated on the status of their van, as well as promptly answering any questions or concerns really helps our customers throughout the purchase process", says Dave.

After speaking with Dave, Tonia took only a day to decide whether the van was right for her daughter. "I put a lot of trust in Dave when purchasing the vehicle since I couldn't see it. I was in Newfoundland and the van was in Ontario, but Dave sounded like someone I could trust and he answered all my questions and concerns, so my mind was at ease", she recalls.

Tonia was easily able to rely on Dave's care. "She was a knowledgeable client and knew exactly what she needed in a conversion, including the dimensions of her daughter's wheelchair and the vehicle and conversion options she required, making the process that much easier", says Dave.

Going Places With A Rear-Entry Wheelchair Accessible Van!

On March 8th, 2009, Tonia and Ashley saw their new Sunburst Orange Pearl 2008 rear-entry Liberty Dodge Grand Caravan for the first time when it was delivered to their home in Newfoundland.

"As I watched the van emerge from the truck, I realized how much easier life would be for Ashley and I. As soon as we could, I secured Ashley and her wheelchair in the van and we went for a little drive. All she kept saying was 'it's so much easier than lifting me all the time Mommy!' and she was right!"

In fact, the mother and daughter duo recently visited Ashley's grandparents, Nan and Pop, who were very excited to see their granddaughter and to know how much the van was going to help the family. Now that Tonia and Ashley have been liberated from their old, unmodified vehicle, they've found that some of their favourite outings are simple shopping trips and treating themselves to fresh ice cream.

"All I have to do now when we want to go somewhere is wheel Ashley aboard the van, secure the wheelchair and away we go! It's so much easier on my back, that's for sure."

Despite her initial concerns about making such an important purchase without even seeing the van first, Tonia has no regrets about her purchase and says, "I am more than pleased with this conversion."

About the author: Liberty Motor Company's friendly and professional Mobility Specialists provides wheelchair accessible minivans, used vans for sale & for personal use and committed to helping families of the disabled in any way necessary to ensure customers have a high level of confidence when making a purchase as significant as a wheelchair accessible vehicle. Click here to request your Liberty Motor Company brochure.


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