When Jaime was 28 years old her parents Debbie and Dean Dillon, began to notice she was stumbling and having a hard time walking. In 2004, she was diagnosed with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and has been in a wheelchair since 2005. Earlier this month, Jaime received her first accessible van thanks to a special fundraiser from their family’s church.
Debbie and Dean met while they were both serving in the United States Air Force and stationed in California. After traveling and working all over the country, they settled in Adrian, MI near Dean’s family in 1995. Shortly after Jaime was diagnosed with MS, they both retired and have been happy to care for her full time ever since. One of the only issues they had was lifting Jaime in and out of their minivan. Dean and Debbie recently purchased a 2016 Chrysler Town and Country, but still needed to have the van converted to be wheelchair accessible. Their friends and church family came together and held a spaghetti dinner fundraiser to help cover the cost.
The dinner was a success as over 300 people attended. Friends and members of the community filled the Church’s gymnasium and with their support, enough money was raised. Debbie and Dean brought their van to MobilityWorks in Toledo, OH where they worked with Certified Mobility Consultant Matt Roeder.
“Matt was very helpful in explaining all of the options in getting the van converted”, says Debbie. “As we walked in the door to get ready to take the van home, it looked beautiful, as if they had just driven it off the showroom floor. Jamie was so excited. She calls everything an adventure and was really ready for this one.” She goes on to say, “It has made life much easier for the three of us, and at 41 years old Jaime still enjoys watching movies on the van’s DVD player.”
One of the first big family trips they plan to take is to Newport News, VA to visit with an old friend of Dean’s from the Air Force. We hope your new van allows you to have many more adventures Jaime!