Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Explaining the Vehicle Donation Fiasco

As some/most of you know, I was trying to raise money for my mother to get a handicap accessible vehicle. Upon posting about it, and having my friend Shelby generously offer to do a raffle for a $300 giftcard to help, both of us were sent emails, comments, and messages harrassing us and calling it a scam. I feel the need to make a post clarifying what was going on, the situation and why I was asking for help. (warning, this may be a long one)

First some background:

Meet my mom. This is one of my favorite pictures of the two of us. This was before she was in the electric wheelchair. I was 11 in this picture I think. This was one of the last family vacations we went on as well for various reasons. My mom has a T12-L1 spinal cord fracture. She was in a car accident on December 4th 1979 involving black ice and losing control of her Camero. This was 9 years, and 2 days before I would be born. The injuries left her paralyzed from the waist down. She found and married my dad after the accident, and tried to live a fairly normal life.

With the paralysis comes some complications with that though. Like going into a store the other day and she couldn't get to most of things in the store because the isles were not wide enough in areas to get her wheelchair through. Also, with her electrical wheelchair, be can't simply fold up her chair and put it in the backseat or trunk anymore. Currently my mom and dad have to tow a trailer behind the car to take my mom anywhere. She'll transfer herself into the front seat of the car, and then my dad will drive her chair into the trailer, secure it, lock the trailer and then head out. It's a process that requires my mom to have help getting to and from places.

My family at my Honor Society Induction
I don't remember how long ago it was, but eventually the cartilage in my mom's shoulders wore down and she didn't have any cartilage between her bones in her shoulder. They tried to do surgery to correct it and save her from an electric wheelchair, but it did not work and that was the only option left. Around the same time, we were evicted from the home I grew up in because the county had bought the property from the military and they were tearing down the houses to build a park. We moved to the new house, up a giant hill and a dirt road. this was the only house that would accommodate my moms chair and that was within my parents price range at the time. So we moved, and my mom got stuck in her house on the hill.

My mom's "castle" as we like to call it
We moved into that house in May 2007. Since then, my mom has not left the house more than 15 or 20 times. That's 4.5 years, and she's rarely left the house. Most of us leave our homes at least once a day, whereas my mom has left theoretically, once every 3 months. She relies on my dad and I for shopping, for food, for getting the mail, walking the dog, and anything else you can imagine. The only time she has left really is for doctors visits, and most of those have been in the past 2 months because she had the time, and my dad could take the time off to chauffeur her around.

At my baptism
The reason I was trying to get donations was because she DESERVES the independence that you and I have everyday, and that we take for granted. She can't walk to the mailbox with the dog, she can't go hit the mall during the holidays, she can't even go out and try to surprise someone with lunch that she hasn't seen in forever because she cannot leave the house on her own. A handicap vehicle would give her that ability. With the ability to drive her chair into where the drivers seat was, have it lock in place, and then use hand controls (which she has used for years when she was in a manual chair) to hit the gas and brakes, she would have those freedoms. She could go to her own doctors appointments, and not rely on my dad or myself to get days off from work to try to cram them all into one day.  She could go christmas shopping and actually surprise my dad and I with things, rather than have us buy our own gifts.

Now, before anyone says "You are asking for a vehicle... you are greedy" Look here, For a new van, with no wear and tear, no use prior (which is the best option for something that would be used daily) Costs roughly $50,000 USD. I was only looking to raise PART of the down payment of $5000 USD in order to help out. This car is almost 3 times the price of a new vehicle on the market. This is before taxes. The government see this type of vehicle as a luxury, so there is an additional tax on it as well as all your base taxes. What I planned to get would help my mom regain her mobility, her freedom, and really her life.

I know a lot of people were upset with my purchase of the RBC holiday collection. I purchased that with birthday money from friends because it was something I really wanted. The additional money left over from that is going into a card to be given to my mom with other donations I did receive that she will get on Christmas. I am on a no buy expect for those items necessary for me to stay clean, clothed, and fed. She means the world to me, and I will do whatever it takes to help her.

My mom and Dad. This was just 2 or 3 years before she switched to the Electric Wheelchair.
I know I have no pictures of my mom in the electric wheelchair. To be honest, she is embarrassed by her situation and the condition she is in. I don't blame her. If you all want proof of it, I'm sorry I don't think I can provide it without making her uncomfortable. I would like to put up a donate button, but if it is just going to get me hate from people, I don't see a point. If anyone has some ideas for fundraising please let me know. I am open for ideas, and I am doing all I can do so far to make this happen. I would love to get help from others to make it happen faster, but I have a feeling that isn't possible after everyone's response the other day. I wanted to write this to explain myself, for my loyal followers, I thought you deserved it, and for those that stumble upon this blog because of the drama deserve an explaination.

Please, if you are going to comment, keep it constructive, and no name calling. Keep it civil.


  1. Re: the RCB purchase:

    12/8/11 Markie:"I myself will be ordering all of these items on friday once I am paid."

    commenters: criticism

    12/11/11 Markie (6:32p.m.): "I treated myself for my birthday with this one thing."

    commenters: criticism

    12/11/11 commenter:(6:46 p.m.)"I GAVE Markie 150 dollars for her birthday and for the vehicle for her mother."

    12/20/11 Markie: "I purchased that with birthday money from friends..."

  2. I wrote the Holiday post on 12/6... my birthday, I got the a birthday card from my friend that commented with the money from my birthday and then ordered on the 8th.

  3. The remaining money is going to my mom.

    Also, please have the decency to identify yourself or I will remove your comments