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Scottsdale family whose daughter has cerebral palsy gets new wheelchair accessible van

The Stedman family of Scottsdale is no stranger to adversity. They’ve triumphed over cancer, ADHD, Dyslexia and Cerebral Palsy. Their eight-year-old daughter, Sage, has cerebral palsy and is non-mobile. She was diagnosed at the age of four months.

Not having a safe and accessible vehicle to transport a child in a wheelchair can cause isolation, discouragement, frustration, and depression. That’s one of the many reasons the Stedman family wanted to get an accessible vehicle for Sage.

“Sage has a power chair and it is a joy to see her enjoy this newfound independence, but we’ve been unable to transport it,” said Mrs. Stedman. “Although she can take her chair to school on the bus, her schedule does not allow her to take the bus every day.”

The Stedman family has been searching desperately for the best wheelchair accessible vehicle for their daughter. “But, in addition to the large expense of such a vehicle, we have extra medical bills due to her father’s stage 4 cancer diagnosis,” said Mrs. Stedman, who added that her family has also been working hard to raise funds to help pay for it.

Thankfully, the Steelman Family Foundation, which assists families in need who are trying to purchase their own wheelchair accessible vehicle, has chosen to help Sage Stedman and her family.

 

Mobility Means Everything to the Callaway Family

Black Electric Lift Specialized Vehicle

Taking your child to doctor appointments shouldn’t be a challenge, but for families with children with disabilities, it can be that and much more; it can actually be life-threatening. Thankfully, there are organizations like Chive Charities who assist families when trying to purchase a wheelchair accessible vehicle.

Today is a special day. The Callaway family will be driving home in their new, safe, and reliable wheelchair accessible transportation from United Access (1389 N Cedarbrook Ave, Springfield, MO 65802). The Callaway Family will be leaving in their new 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan with CompanionVan side entry, making everyone’s life a little easier. Thanks to Chive Charities and their generous donors for helping to make this happen.

About the Callaway Family

“We were given a grim diagnosis from the start,” said Mrs. Callaway. “We were told he would never make it to birth and if he did, to cherish the short time we would have with him. The hospital had us fill out a death and funeral care plan before we were to deliver him.”

Raylan is truly a miracle. Raylan was diagnosed with Alobar Holoprosencephaly (HPE) at 20 weeks gestation. HPE is a rare brain malformation affecting 1 in 5,000 to 10,000 live births. Current studies indicate that only three percent of all fetuses diagnosed with HPE survive birth, and only one percent survive longer than 6-months. Raylan is beating the odds as he is now 7 years old!

Raylan was born by C-section due to his head being so large. He had hydrocephalus, also known as water on the brain.  He was 11lbs 11oz and most all that was in his head. The day after he was born, the family asked the doctor if there was anything that could be done to help Raylan be more comfortable. The doctor wasn’t optimistic and told Raylan’s parents that he couldn’t feel anything and to just let nature take its course. Thankfully that is not where his story ended. “We had an amazing nurse who stayed in the room with us after that doctor left,” said Mrs. Callaway.

She asked us what we wanted for Raylan. We told her that he was fighting to live and we were going to fight for him.

This nurse went above and beyond to help this family. She called in an amazing neurosurgeon, even though he was on vacation, he came to meet Raylan straight from the airport. “This new doctor came in the room, picked up our son, and gave us the most optimistic news we had heard since hearing of his diagnosis.” After an examination, this new doctor believed that Raylan could live as long as 18 to 24 months but that would require putting in a VP shunt in Raylan to drain the extra fluid from his head. The surgery went well and the Callaways were able to bring their son home. Not long after being home, they noticed that Raylan was extremely irritable and were struggling to feed him. The shunt was infected and this required another surgery and six weeks in the hospital. The first two years of Raylan’s life were tumultuous and even the neurosurgeon who gave the family their most optimistic life expectancy is amazed on how well he is doing.

Raylan has Cerebral Palsy with spasticitydiabetes insipidus, ventricular shunt for hydrocephalus, and feeding tube all due to having HPE. He is nonverbal but communicates with his facial expressions.  He has no head, neck, or trunk control and relies on his family for total care. Raylan is in a wheelchair. Through the last couple of years, he has had to have hip surgery due to his spasticity pulling his legs out of his hip joints. “Raylan’s spasticity is one of our biggest struggles,” said Mrs. Callaway. “Raylan gets over stimulated easily causing his muscles to get tight. When this happens his whole body gets red and splotchy. He begins shaking all over, screaming, he gets sweaty and his blood pressure spikes.” This condition is called storming.

Despite all this Raylan is a happy guy with a contagious smile. He loves his sisters and he loves being the center of attention.

Raylan has three amazing sisters – Mackenzie is 18, Miya is 14, and Madi is 11. They are great with their little brother and include him in everything they do. Mr. Callaway works as a Sheriff Deputy for Webster County while also owning and operating a small excavating business, Callaway Excavating. Mrs. Callaway stays home to care for Raylan. Going from therapy appointments to doctor appointments and overall daily care, it’s a full-time job.

Receiving an accessible vehicle is such a blessing for our family,” said Mrs. Callaway. “I currently drive a Suburban, but it is almost impossible for me to go anywhere alone with Raylan. Raylan’s wheelchair weighs 72 pounds. It is a struggle to lift it in and out of the back of the Suburban by myself. Raylan is also getting bigger. I have to transfer him to his car seat, which he is also starting to outgrow. It has gotten to where I would rather stay home than get him out.  A handicap accessible vehicle means he could stay in his wheelchair and we wouldn’t have to lift it, and him, in and out of the back of the Suburban.” This grant would make our life so much easier to go places and make the going more enjoyable.

For more information about Chive Charities, visit chivecharities.org. For more information about United Access, visit www.unitedaccess.com.

United Access Wins Bronze Stevie® Award for Ethics in 2019 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – February 23, 2019 – United Access was presented with a Bronze Stevie® Award in The Sales Partnerships Award for Ethics in Sales category in the 13th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service last night. United Access was the only accessible vehicle company to receive a Sales & Customer Service Stevie® award across all categories.

Trophy Awards

The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service are the world’s top honors for customer service, contact center, business development, and sales professionals. The Stevie Awards organization stages seven of the world’s leading business awards programs, including the prestigious American Business Awards® and International Business Awards®.

The awards were presented to honorees during a gala banquet on Friday, February 22 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, NV. More than 700 executives from the U.S.A. and several other nations attended.

More than 2,700 nominations from organizations in 45 nations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were evaluated in this year’s competition. Winners were determined by the average scores of more than 150 professionals worldwide in seven specialized judging committees.

Entries were considered in 93 categories for customer service and contact center achievements, including Contact Center of the Year, Award for Innovation in Customer Service, and Customer Service Department of the Year; 60 categories for sales and business development achievements, ranging from Senior Sales Executive of the Year to Sales Training or Business Development Executive of the Year to Sales Department of the Year; and categories to recognize new products and services and solution providers.

As a company, we are all bound together by a common purpose, to give people the power of freedom and independence by providing the safest and most trusted accessible driving solutions in the country. One of these key values was formalized as follows: Our culture is based around doing what is right. We use this simple, but powerful, statement as a compass in all of our business dealings, decisions and actions – we do what’s right, ” said President and founder, Richard May.

All of the Stevie Award winners should be very proud of their achievements. Independent professionals around the world have agreed that their accomplishments are worthy of public recognition,” said Stevie Awards President and founder, Michael Gallagher.

Details about the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service and the list of Stevie winners in all categories are available at www.StevieAwards.com/sales.

About United Access

Established in 1997, this small, family-owned and operated company has grown into the second largest provider of accessible vehicles and products across the country. United Access partnered with industry-leading manufacturers to supply its stores with the best and safest products, including accessible wheelchair vans, trucks and SUVs, wheelchair lifts and scooter lifts, hand controls, power transfer seats and more. To learn more, visit www.unitedaccess.com.

About the Stevie Awards
Stevie Awards are conferred in seven programs: the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, the German Stevie Awards, The American Business Awards®, The International Business Awards®, the Stevie Awards for Great Employers, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Stevie Awards competitions receive more than 12,000 entries each year from organizations in more than 70 nations. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about the Stevie Awards at www.StevieAwards.com.

Sponsors of the 13th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service include Sales Partnerships and ValueSelling Associates.

Supporting Veterans is Important to Us

It’s one thing to say we support our U.S. Military, but it’s another to show it. At United Access, we do everything we can to show our support. That includes helping veterans through the grant process and working with the Department of Veterans Affairs to help them obtain the proper grant funding for wheelchair accessible vehicles, offering veteran discounts on wheelchair accessible vehicle rentals, and partnering with veteran support organizations like the Paralyzed Veterans of America and Wounded Warrior Project.

We are just as proud of our veteran employees. About ten percent of our workforce is comprised of military veterans. The military trains people to lead by example as well as through direction and inspiration. Veterans also understand the dynamics of leadership and that teamwork grows out of responsibility and camaraderie. These are qualities we look for in our employees and values we hold in high regard in our company.

Meet a few of our Veteran Employees here at United Access:

Veteran on wheelchair
  • Jonah, Service Manager in the Dallas area, has been with United Access since 2014. He was a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Marines. Jonah started as a part time porter and quickly worked his way up to the Service Manager position.
  • Andrew served as a Major in the U.S. Army. Andrew now works with us as a Mobility Specialist in the Dallas area.
  • Van started his career at United Access in 2015. Van was a Corporal in the U.S. Marines and now works in the Cape Girardeau area as a Service Manager.
young cadet

Showing even further commitment are the men and women who continue to dedicate their lives to serving our county. One such young man, Brodie, is the son of our General Manager in our Springfield, Missouri store. Brodie graduated last month from 2nd Battalion, 39th Infantry U.S. Army. He was the third youngest in his company (leaving for boot camp 5 days after high school graduation). During that time he earned the Sharpshooter Pin in Marksmanship. Brodie will be heading to college in January. After he earns his degree, he plans to go on active during with the hopes of completing Airborne and Ranger school.

Supporting our troops isn’t just a thing we say, it’s a part of who we are as a company.