Families needing help buying mobility vans - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Families needing help buying mobility vans

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There's hot competition for families vying to win a wheelchair accessible van..

The price of the vehicle puts it out of reach for many families.

Last week, we told you about a Calhoun County family who has entered an on-line competition to win the van for their 12-year-old son. Dozens of local families are trying to win a mobility van.

More than 700 people are entered in the National Mobility Awareness Month Local Hero Contest. We met a Chelsea family who's three year old son is entered in that same contest.

Three-year-old, Bryce Napp, is small enough for his father and mother to move him from his wheelchair to the family van, but a greater challenge lies ahead.

Michael Napp says, "Bryce is getting bigger. He's already 30 pounds. As he grows and gets bigger it becomes a physically challenging thing for her to care for him."

Bryce has some motor difficulties, but his smile is contagious.

His family must meet his needs as he grows , so they've entered him in a contest to win a mobility van. "I am a high school teacher and my wife stays home with our four children, so we're not going to buy an 80,000 van this month."

Even a used van runs around 20-thousand dollars. Napp says many organizations like Arc of Shelby County have helped them with equipment, but he's not aware of any funding or grants to help families buy a van.

"I'd love for there to be help for people much less fortunate than we are. I've seen people in this contest who are in desperate need. We need it, but we will survive without out it."

Doug Fields, who helps families get disability assistance, says there are resources available for those unable to spend thousands of dollars. "There are provisions in the law that might allow people to have medicaid pay for transportation through transportation companies and services that are set up for this very kind of thing, to help people get to Dr. appointments."

The Napp family hopes to get awareness out about mobility issues for people in wheelchairs "Maybe there would be some grants or financial assistance available for families who need assistance to get something and make life a little bit easier."

If you would like to vote for Bryce to win a mobility van or another person entered in the contest click just click on this link.

http://www.mobilityawarenessmonth.com/local-heroes/

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