For Megan Grannan, being able to drive her own car was a lifelong dream that all began with a Barbie Jeep when she was 2 years old. To her, driving meant she would not need anyone’s permission or help to get where she wanted to go, when she wanted to go. After years of hard work, she earned her driver’s license and recently received the keys to her first-ever accessible van! We asked Megan to share her journey to the steering wheel with us below.
Driving is a huge deal in someone’s life. The person becomes independent and the freedom starts. I was born with a rare dwarfism called Metatropic Dysplasia. There are only about 100 people in the world that have it. Yeah, I am a rare gem! I also have a twin sister. Growing up, I was raised that I could do anything that everyone else was doing. The only thing that I couldn’t do was play soccer and that was the number one thing that I wanted to do, of course! I give a lot of credit to my twin sister because she pushed me to do my best and to keep up with her.
I always knew that I wanted to drive. I was driving my Barbie Jeep at the age of 2! My sister would push the pedals and I would steer — I never hit anything. I always said that I would drive a Volkswagen Bug when I grew up. It had to be pink as well. Pink is my favorite color.
When I took driver’s ed in high school, I failed the test twice and passed it on the third time. I was not a good student. I just wanted to get on the road. My dad had doubts that I wouldn’t be able to drive but my mom always knew that it was going to happen. I started off with an adaptive driver’s assessment to see if I could drive and the answer was yes! My dad didn’t like that very much. Then it all started with who was going to train me. I had to wait until I was 18 because the Division of Vocational Rehab was able to help me pay for the driving lessons. I started driving in a 16-passenger van! That was one big car! I was willing to do anything and everything to get a car of my own.
Right before I was able to take the test, my hip started to have a lot of pain and I was unable to take the test. I couldn’t sit. I was crushed. This led to me going to college and every summer having some sort of surgery. Driving was still on my mind. I hated that I could not just jump in a car and go like my friends. I always was waiting for my parents or the public bus.
I knew that this had to end. I graduated college and knew that I needed to drive. Well, my permit ran out. That meant that I had to retake the written test. Remember when I said that I had to take it three times in high school? Well, it happened again! Here I was with my permit for the third time and getting the driving lessons that I needed. I had to travel to Johnstown, Pennsylvania, for a two-week intense course on a whole new driving system that I never knew about. It was worth every minute.
Next, was getting a car. Now I had my heart set on a cute little SUV or Cadillac Escalade. Neither were coming my way! I honestly really didn’t care because all I wanted to do was drive. I had the talk about getting a minivan with the driving instructor and my mom. I was totally fine with it! Did I really want a minivan at 28? No, but it was going to be the safest option for me and allow me to keep my scooter with me.
I was sent to MobilityWorks in Cinnaminson, New Jersey. They were so helpful! I had no idea what I was doing or what I need to do. Stacy, from the beginning, helped out with everything. She went above and beyond. Steve was another person who went above and beyond. He built my van. They both helped pick out the van, what ramp, and everything in between. After the state approved my van, I picked a navy Toyota. It was a dream come true.
Then the waiting began. I would visit it weekly and see what had been done. Then the day finally arrived that I could drive it home. We had just had a huge snowstorm and it was a chilly February day but on the 8th of February, it came home. This was a huge deal! The thing that so any people said wouldn’t happen actually happened! MobilityWorks made it happen! I have been driving ever since and I don’t think that it will ever get old! Please never give up on the dream of driving! It is possible and it will happen!
At MobilityWorks, we’re here to help you discover what’s possible. Whatever stage you are at in your journey as a driver, rest assured that our Certified Mobility Consultants will be there to answer any questions you have along the way.
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