She didn’t win the contest but she won a lot of hearts
Eight year old Kyla Hartigan was born 12 weeks premature, spent 16 weeks in the NICU and fought every day to stay with us. As a result of her prematurity, she was diagnosed with Quadriplegic Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy. Her family had been using a hoist-style lift in their van to pick up and transport her 240 pound K300 Permobil power wheelchair. Her mother Margie would pick up Kyla to get her transferred, seated and buckled in. This solution worked for a few years, but as Kyla kept getting older, their need for a wheelchair accessible van kept getting greater.
In May of 2013, the family learned about the National Mobility Awareness Month Van Giveaway contest by NMEDA* where three lucky winners would be given a van. Kyla entered the essay contest and made it as a semi-finalist in the online voting process.
Margie Hartigan wrote in her first essay:
“What most people take for granted, like a quick trip to the store, is so time consuming for us. Sometimes her chair can’t even travel with us and she has to be carried. A wheelchair accessible vehicle would be life-changing for this little girl who inspires so many others.”
Unfortunately, Kyla did not when the van. The family decided to hold off one more year to find another solution since mom could still pick up her daughter. Not to be deterred, they decided to enter the NMEDA sponsored contest in 2014. Again, they made it as a semi-finalist but were not chosen not win a vehicle. Ugh!
During this time, they were making a lot more connections within the community. Margie “liked” a Facebook page about a clothing company that uses kids with disabilities to model for their clothing. The owner of the company contacted Margie and asked her to bring Kyla to their farm. The owners immediately fell in love with Kyla and spent hours talking to her about everything under the sun. After they found out about her not winning the contest, the clothing company owners wanted to help Kyla and her family. They were so in love with Kyla and her family that they decided to purchase her a new van.
Not knowing where to start, they first contacted a Dodge dealership to purchase them a new minivan and wheelchair lift. The Dodge dealer then contacted MobilityWorks to get pricing on the lift. Nick Cortino, the General Manager of our Plainfield store got the call. He immediately spoke to the dealer about making sure that we could get Kyla to our facility so that we could do a full “needs analysis” to find the right solution for the family, one that fit her specific type of wheelchair, the family’s travel requirements and ramp or lift preferences. The Auto Dealer agreed and Nick was able to reach out to the clothing store owners and to the Hartigan family. He was able to determine that the best long-term solution would be a 2013 Chrysler Town & Country Limited with a VMI Northstar in-floor ramp conversion. And they love it!
Congratulations to Kyla and the Hartigan family! We were so glad to be a part of making your life a little easier.
*Editor's Note: NMEDA stands for the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association. MobilityWorks is an active NMEDA member and a Quality Assurance Program (QAP) provider.
Congratulations to The MobilityWorks Foundation on the results of its Ford Raptor sale at the Dallas Mecum Auction. A bid of $250,000 was the highlight of the day. Thank you again to our sponsors: Ford Motor, West Coast Customs, BraunAbility, Magnaflow, Bully Dog, LM Tire & Wheel and BDS Suspension.
Whether you're just hanging out at home, going to a baseball game, or going to watch a parade, MobilityWorks would like to wish everyone a safe and Happy Holiday. For many of us, Labor Day signals a time that Fall weather is on the way and football Sunday's will soon be here. Get that last summer cook-out in with friends and family and enjoy the day!
Proceeds to Help The MobilityWorks Foundation with Helping Veterans In Need of Accessible Vehicles
The MobilityWorks Foundation will be auctioning off a modified 2014 Ford Raptor pickup truck designed by West Coast Customs of the popular television show that airs on Sunday nights on Fox Sports 2. The custom American Flag paint scheme was applied by Ryan Ryno Templeton.
Sponsors of the Raptor build included MobilityWorks, Ford Motor Company, West Coast Customs, BraunAbility, LM Tire & Wheel, BDS Suspension, Bully Dog, and Magna Flow.
The auction will air live on NBC Sports Network, Saturday September 6th from 12 Noon to 3:30 PM. The Raptor will be on display at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center beginning September 3rd.
For more information on the auction and the MobilityWorks Raptor Truck, go to the Dallas Mecum Auction site here.
MobilityWorks of PA & NJ to Participate in the 2014 Bike MS: City to Shore Ride 9/27-9/28/14
Bike MS is a series of 100 extraordinary cycling events held across the county — rides that take participants further than they’ve ever gone before! The Bike MS events inspire camaraderie, personal accomplishment, and the knowledge that participants are helping to change the lives of people with MS. As a great personal challenge and achievement that any rider can experience, Bike MS is both a weekend-long and lifelong opportunity to make a difference in one’s own life, as well as in the world!
In 2013, more than 100,000 cyclists raised over $80 million dollars to help create a world free of MS!!! On Saturday, September 27th and Sunday, September 28th, MobilityWorks will be a part of the 2014 Bike MS: City to Shore Ride.
Named by Bicycling Magazine as the “Best Cycling Getaway in NJ”, the Bike MS: City to Shore Ride promises to be one of the best cycling experiences on the East Coast. Participants can choose from several routes ranging from 25-100 miles and bike over either one or two days. Participants will cycle through the quaint towns and back roads of Southern New Jersey, eventually ending their ride in historic Ocean City, NJ. For more information, please visit the National MS Society website.
Help Sponsor Team MobilityWorks in their Efforts to Raise Money for the MS Society
In addition to being a Finish Line sponsor for the event; MobilityWorks will also have a cycling team participating in the Bike MS: City to Shore Ride. The team is led by MobilityWorks’ Regional Sales Manager; Jack Donovan. Jack is joined by John Marrongelli, MobilityWorks’ Norristown Service Manager, as well as several of their other friends and associates.
To sponsor Team MobilityWorks, please visit the MobilityWorks team page.