Petersburg woman still holding out hope for special car

Petersburg woman still holding out hope for special car

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - 12 On Your Side checked in with a Petersburg woman who needs a specialized car to live independently.

We first introduced you to Celia Yette last November, a smart and beautiful woman born without arms. Her struggle resonated with many of you. Celia is still working to get that car, but thanks to a group of Armstrong High alums, she's a little closer to her goal. She's not discouraged. Celia says her faith keeps her hopeful.

Earlier, the Armstrong Class of 1974 presented Celia a check for a grand.

Celia arrived at NBC 12 on Thursday. Veterans Cab chauffeured her to the station. The company owner provided transportation because he too wants to see the woman known about town for motivating others, driving herself again. It was a grand meeting between strangers who quickly became friends exchanging stories of overcoming.

Armstrong High Class of '74 Member Marilynn Joyner was inspired by Celia and says, "You are not giving up. You want to live. You're living a normal life."

The group is a small representation of the alumni class. They pooled their resources to help Celia get driving again and presented her a card and check.  Armstrong High Class of '74 Member Shelia Anderson made the $1,000 presentation on behalf of the class for which Celia is grateful.  She read the card out loud which in part says, "Right now, I'm wishing you feel how truly cared about you are and hoping you can take strength that you mean a lot to so many people."

In addition to a newer model car, Celia needs roughly $78,000 for modifications on the car. The Armstrong High alum hopes their love offering motivates others to give. "My faith is in him and I'm going to get this car. Yes, it's going to happen. I don't feel like I have a choice. This is something that I need to do because there's too much that I want to do," Celia says.

The Mobility Center of Virginia which kept her car running for years says a newer model with manual dial controls for heating and A/C is what she needs now. A 2015 mustang would be compatible with modern computerized modifications. "It's not me saying this is what I want. This is what I'm being told. A Ford Mustang can be modified."

Celia has two degrees from VSU. She works for the V.E.C. and does public speaking to inspire young people and the disabled. While she has a noticeable disability, Celia is accomplished, capable, and determined. "What makes it special is that the people who have been contributing aren't millionaires. Every time someone donates, I'm one step closer."

The Armstrong High Class of '74 gives college scholarships to high school students and is active in voter registration and restoration rights.

If you'd like to help get Celia driving again, go to any Wells Fargo Bank branch and make a donation. Just mention the Celia Yette Vehicle Fund.

We will continue to check in with Celia a let you know when she reaches her goal.

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