Freedom to move around is something most people take for granted. For families like Steve and Jessica Hardin, this is not something they take lightly. Their three-year old son, Noah, suffers from Freeman Sheldon Syndrome, a condition that primarily affects the face, hands, and feet. Freeman-Sheldon Syndrome is also characterized by joint deformities that restrict movement. People with this disorder typically have multiple contractures in the hands and feet at birth as well as severe scoliosis. Last summer Noah got his first power wheelchair and has loved exploring his world on his own.
With this new power wheelchair comes even more challenges with transportation. The Hardins currently drive Noah in their small SUV, which is now too small and doesn’t come with a ramp or lift to help Noah and his new 300-pound power wheelchair in and out of the SUV.
“Our plan is to sell this vehicle and put the proceeds toward a wheelchair accessible van so that we can transport Noah’s chair,” said Jessica Hardin. “In addition, this would enable us to transport Noah while he’s seated in his chair. As Noah is getting bigger, it will be more challenging to lift him into his adapted car seat, particularly for my husband, who also has Freeman Sheldon Syndrome.” Currently, Noah’s power wheelchair has to remain at home or at preschool when the bus transports him back and forth to his developmental preschool.
“The stories we hear every day and the smiles we see on our customers faces when they drive away for the first time, fuel our passion for the work we do,” said United Access Founder, Richard May.
Thanks to the generosity of the Steelman Family Foundation, the Harkin family will be driving away in their new 2016 BraunAbility Dodge Caravan today at the United Access [formerly Performance Mobility at 12905 NE Airport Way, Portland, OR 97230].
“We are dedicated to giving back to the community that has given so much to us,” said René Steelman, founder of the Foundation.