Anonymous donor remembers story of struggle, gifts family a much-needed van

Van donation makes life easier for family

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Life is a whole lot easier for a Chesterfield family after an anonymous donor has gifted a fully loaded handicap van to a nurse and her 25-year-old daughter who has cerebral palsy.

They finally have a safe, reliable van and no monthly payments. It's a beautiful example of human kindness - a retired doctor and his wife want to remain anonymous.

But, like many NBC12 viewers, they remember our reports last year on Cassandra Winton's daily struggle to get Gee out of the house and seeing the world. So, when the doctor's wife no longer needed her accessible van, they couldn't think of a better person to gift it to.

There's nothing comparable to a sweet ride that starts when you need it and has all the critical features to accommodate your precious cargo. It's transformative too. We went along for a ride with Winton and her daughter.

Here's some of that interchange between Mom and Daughter in the car:

"All right Gee, sit back and just ride and taste this air girl. Taste it Gee. (daughter sighs) You hear her."

Cassandra adds, "I am grateful and so is G'erica. We are so grateful. Right Gee Gee? Right now she's checking out her trees."

The 2017 Toyota Sienna with just 27,000 miles is the difference between freedom and being imprisoned at home staring at the world through a window.

"It drives like I'm driving on air," said Cassandra. "This is like a spaceship just floating on air."

There's no more struggle lifting her adult daughter and pushing G'erica and the wheelchair into the van. No more worries of broken tie downs and doors.

In a previous interview from last November, Cassandra said, "It was very scary. My daughter is strapped in the back of the van and the door will fly open."

It was a constant concern back then, but not anymore. The van is in her name. She has the title.

"This van is a 2017 a debt free van with no liens<' she said. "So I had to lean when they said it was no lien. So, this is the title right here. I am definitely glad that I called 12 On Your Side because God is good. God used you to bless me and Gee."

The retired doctor gave the van to Cassandra's church and Mt. Gilead paid the taxes and licensing fees and turned it over to the loving mother and nurse. Mobility Super Center's Ryan Green who understands how liberating transportation can be says Cassandra's attitude sparked a circle of giving.

"You love being around people that are always positive and that was Cassandra, all that she was dealing with her beautiful daughter," said Green. "They deserve it. Her daughter needs her freedom and that's what this vehicle is going to provide for them."

Cassandra gave her old van to her brother, Kalvin Winston, who was paralyzed following a shooting years ago.

"She said I'm blessing you with this van and I cried and I was like it might be old to her anybody else but it's new to me," said Kalvin.

Cassandra expressed deep gratitude to the anonymous donors of the van as she read their card: "We hope this will take away the worry in your life. Thanks for being a great Mom. Best wishes."

It was an emotional act of kindness for the anonymous donors as well.

The retired doctor cried as talked about his wife and why it was so important to gift the van to someone in need.

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