Henrico family in need of handicap-accessible van

Henrico family in need of handicap-accessible van

HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - Traveling by car has become a whole process for two women in Henrico, and that’s why they’re asking for the public’s help to get a handicap-accessible van that can accommodate two mobility scooters.

It takes about 20 extra minutes for Cheryl Murray to load up hers and her friend Patti’s scooters into their Chrysler Town and Country minivan. The process consists of having to load one scooter on a lift on the back of the van, and then physically lift a second one into the back seat.

Murray has to go through the routine each time she and her friend Patti Murray use their van, as both suffer from medical conditions that require them to use the scooters.

But it’s a long and sometimes hazardous method, as Chery describes an incident where she "fell off the curb and broke my foot. It took six people to get me off the ground.”

Patti suffers from Parkinson’s, and so Cheryl does all the driving for the pair. Their van was bought before Patti needed a scooter, and so it was never equipped to handle two scooters.

“We had to buy new tires because they shocks are shot because of the weight of the two scooters,” Cheryl said.

Unfortunately, financial woes have kept them from being able to get a new van, and so for the past three years, they’ve had to risk using what they have.

“Ask her caretaker, this is what I do. It’s not a job," Cheryl added.

Patti already has a second scooter, but it isn’t compatible to go on the van’s lift, and so the second one is increasingly more valuable to them.

“I wouldn’t ask if it wasn’t a necessity. I’m 60 years old, she’s 64. She’s got Parkinson’s and we just don’t know who to go to, where to turn," Murray said.

They add that they’ve been looking for a handicap accessible van for years, and are hoping this year will be the year they can finally obtain one.

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