Commonwealth Journal


July 12, 2012

Online campaign aims to get 8-year-old girl a new wheelchair, special equipment for van

Somerset —  

In the midst of a bad economy, when everyone is feeling the pressure of tough times, one local family has come up with a creative way to address a new challenge they are facing.
David and Heather Powell of Pulaski County are the parents of twin 8-year-olds Lacey and Macey. Macey has cerebral palsy, and has to rely on a wheelchair to get around. The problem is that Macey is beginning to outgrow her previous means of transportation.
When she was little, Macey could go from place to place easily by using her youth wheelchair or by being carried by her parents. 
But, as she grows, it’s become more difficult for David and Heather to carry Macey around, and she’s outgrown her wheelchair too.
“She actually broke her leg while out playing in the wheelchair because she outgrew it,” Heather said.
Getting in and out of the family’s van has also become a challenge for Macey and her parents. David said there are handicap-accessible vans available, but right now the Powell family simply can’t afford another car payment.
Instead, the Powells want to refit the van they have in order to make it accessible. They want to get a wheelchair lift and transfer seat to mount on the van, in addition to a new wheelchair for Macey.
“The real urgency is with the wheelchair,” David said
The wheelchair David and Heather want for Macey is a power wheelchair from Etac. 
The new chair is motorized and will allow her more control, allowing her to raise and lower the chair and control her speed of movement. The new chair itself will cost $5,000, and with the accessories for the van the total cost of Macey’s upgrade will come to a steep $15,000.
“It’s going to allow her to be so much more independent than she has been,” Heather said.

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