A Role Model to His Peers, Aaron Negrete Receives a Brand New Wheelchair Van Donated by Sacramento Auto Dealers
Ten-year-old Aaron Negrete was born without arms or legs. But that hasn’t stopped him from living life to the fullest and inspiring others. A local television station reveals the wonderful news about a van donation to a surprised Aaron and mom.
The following is the essay submitted to the National Mobility Awareness Month Van Giveaway Contest back in May, which Aaron didn’t win. After seeing his story on Good Day Sacramento, the Greater Sacramento New Car Dealers Association, their foundation partner Shriners Hospitals for Children, and other generous donors worked together to provide his mother Juanita with a brand new Chrysler Town and Country van from MobilityWorks. The modified minivan has a VMI Northstar in-floor ramp conversion perfect for their family needs and the ramp requirements of Aarons’ power wheelchair.
His story and van presentation were shown on Good Day Sacramento.
From the National Mobility Awareness Month contest website…
A hero is someone who deeply influences our lives; someone who faces seemingly insurmountable obstacles with superhuman resilience; a role model — someone we deeply admire and wish to emulate. Aaron Negrete is one such person.
Aaron is 10 years old. He was born with Tetra-Amelia syndrome, leaving him without arms or legs. Every day presents new challenges for him, but he is determined to not let his disability interfere with his life. With relentless dedication, Aaron has learned to do many things by himself. He can now maneuver across a room, write and draw using a pencil in his mouth, and even swim. Last year, he played the lead in the school play, and will play the Lion in “The Wizard of Oz” this spring.
Aaron’s strength, optimism, and sense of humor make him a role model to his peers. He helps other students overcome their fear of being different. As he explained in second grade, “It really doesn’t matter what color your skin is, how tall you are, or if you have any arms or legs. Because inside we’re all just kids or people. We’re all the same inside even if we look different on the outside.” Watching Aaron overcome his limitations inspires other students to overcome their own. His compassion, empathy, and thoughtfulness for others are truly inspirational, to adults and students alike. Volunteers who have worked with him have become so impressed with his capabilities, compassion, and wisdom that some have actually gone to Congress to push for more laws to help the physically challenged.
Aaron has many dreams for the future. One of his dreams is to design cars. He cherishes his independence, and strives to accomplish as much as he can by himself. His electric wheelchair gives him the freedom of mobility most of us take for granted. To use it, he needs a special wheelchair-accessible van. His current van is almost 20 years old, and requires constant maintenance. Aaron’s mom works two jobs to support their family, and cannot afford a newer, reliable van — or one of the better used handicap vans for sale. Without the opportunity to explore his world and have the same life experiences as an able-bodied child, Aaron may not be able to accomplish his many dreams.
Aaron has a promising future. He is our local hero, our inspiration. Assisting him to have the independence he so greatly deserves would make a world of difference in his life.