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    As some of you know, I recently entered a contest to win a new van. ***Thanks again to those of you who supported me!***

    I didn't win the van. I'm trying to figure out what I'm going to do. I can't afford to keep repairing my current van, and I definitely can't afford a new one. So I've been exploring other options... but haven't come up with a solution yet.

    If you don't mind sharing, could you please tell me about how you get around? Or maybe you don't get around?

    Do you take public transportation? Do you drive a car? A van? A truck? How do you get your chair in your van, truck, or car?

    I drove cars for many many years, but just can't do that anymore because of shoulder and back issues.

    Also, do you have any tips for me on financing a van? Grants?


    Sorry to hear that you didn't win. Have you tried a fundraiser thru a church or organization? A man I know who didn't have a ride to his kidney dialysis treatment was given a honda accord that one of the members in his church didn't need. Personally, I finance all my vehicles, I like having a new car every 3 or 4 years. Yeah it sucks making car payments but I figure it into my expenses and will probably be doing it forever.
    A dolla makes me holla, honey boo boo! - borrowed from Honey boo boo child


      No, I have not tried any fundraisers.

      What do you drive? How do you get your chair in and out?


        My first ride (back in 1993) was an '88 Lincoln Continental. I would transfer in from the passenger side, pull off the rear wheels and put them in the back seat abd set the back end of the chair up on the seat. Then I would slide half way to the drivers side and pull the chair inside and rotate it to put the footrests down in the leg well, then use a cane to pull the door closed. I'd slide in to the passenger seat and be off! It was a beast, but very comfortable with nice leather seats, and all kinds of power adjustments for the seat. I could get the seat adjusted so I was comfortable and stable. It took me about 15 minutes the first time I got in, but within a week, it was a 2 minute job.

        When it died, I went to a '91 Ford station wagon, which had the advantage that when I had someone with me, they could just toss the chair in the back.

        They were OK, and less expensive than a van, but once I went to the minivan, my life got so much easier, and I am on my third one in 12 years.
        Don - Grad Student Emeritus
        T3 ASIA A 27 years post injury


          I either push or use public transportation which is a pretty bad ride for me. Seeing doc next week, maybe I'll get a new powerchair (old one broken for 2 years). I hate using a powerchair but .. they don't hurt and I don't get tired.


            Shannon. Why not think about something like this It's a level transfer and you just use a folding chair and fold it and stow it behind the drivers seat, could not be any easier. No lifts to break, all you u need is just handcontrols. Simply transfer to the drivers seat, fold chair, pull in behind seat. Much easier than any car I've driven. Plus you can cart around a handcycle in the bed. Just remember though, gotta be the ZQ8 low rider 2wd suspension, otherwise it's going to be too high a transfer.
            "Life is about how you
            respond to not only the
            challenges you're dealt but
            the challenges you seek...If
            you have no goals, no
            mountains to climb, your
            soul dies".~Liz Fordred


              have you tried voc rehab...i had to buy the van, they paid for entire conversion/controls...willing to pay for me to go to school, redid my bathroom..the key is to telll em you want /need transportation to work...
              - Rolling Thru Life -


                I agree Donno, having a minivan van makes life so much easier.

                Grommet, why is public transport a bad ride for you?

                Curt, I can't lift my chair. After my last back surgery, I can't do that anymore. I also cannot do the twisting required to put the chair behind my seat.

                Roc, I've been working with voc rehab. They are about to spend $2,000 on the one I have now to get it fixed. I asked my counselor last week if they are going to pay for more repairs in the future, and she said she didn't know. The thing is, next time it breaks, I'll lose my job because it'll take months to get an answer from Voc Rehab.


                  Have you contacted Easter Seals? In my state I know they have alternative financing options. Low interest loans for people with disabilities. They are low or reduced interest for those who qualify w/ a disability for the purchase of assistive tech devices and services. Examples would be communication devices, hearing aids, mobility assistance, home&vehicle mods. Here they partner with assistive technology at VR and banks. I've known people that have used this program to get a loan for a vehicle. Would VR cover the cost of the mods if you got a loan on a van? That would lower your amount of the loan, especially if you bought used.
                  Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know that, so it goes on flying anyways--Mary Kay Ash


                    Equipmment Grants Available

                    I just got this in my monthly newsletter from Edgepark Medical Supplies called The UroEdge Volume 2, 2012 pg 2.
                    The article reads,

                    "The Travis Roy Foundation offers grants to those with spinal cord injuries in financial need for vehicle modifications, wheelchairs, computers, mattresses, shower chairs and other adaptive equipment. Since 1997, the Boston-based charity has awarded more than $2.5 million in grants for equiptment as well as research into potential cures for paralysis.

                    If you or someone you know would like too apply for a grant. please visit

                    I personally know NOTHING about this but I read it I thought I would post it here as I have seen others interested in some sort of funding. Hope it works.


                      I know people who have gotten grants for the van if VR will do the conversion. It normally takes several grants put together like from Kiwanis, Knights of Columbus, Elks, Moose, local one of a kind charities and occasionally you'll need a fundraiser to top it off. Many churches and other groups with halls and kitchens will help you host a pancake breakfast or bars/restaurants will do a one night profits to you with a raffle and you do a lot of flyer postings so they get some nice advertising.
                      And yea, try the Travis Roy Foundation. I met his Dad years back down in DC. He gets the parenting angle.
                      Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

                      Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.


                        What is wrong with your van?
                        In my experience, if Bvr does repairs they won't do anything else but there's alwaysthe appeal process!
                        ETA: ( u know every state is different)