Nicholasville, KY. Elementary School Surprises Student with Wheelchair Van

(Repost) By Anyssa Roberts —

NICHOLASVILLE, KY. — The scene was like that on the TV show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, but it was a conspicuous yellow bus that was concealing the surprise.

On Wednesday, two days before the end of the school year, classmates of 7-year-old Braden Petrucci filled the back parking lot of Warner Elementary school. Teachers attempted to contain the excited students, as homemade signs with “Go Braden” and “We love you Braden” rustled between small hands.

When the bus rolled away, months of fundraising work in the form of a wheelchair van appeared for Braden, his mother Tenia Johnson, 28, and younger brother Darius, 3.

Braden has faced health struggles since his premature birth in 2006. Spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy confines him to a wheelchair although he continues to outgrow it. This April, Braden underwent a bilateral hip replacement at Shriners Hospital for Children.

Before receiving the van, Johnson had to lift her son into her Toyota Corolla then disassemble the wheels from his chair to fit it inside her car.

The van was part of a Christmas wish made by Braden last year. After hearing about the wish, the school began raising money. The students, teachers and staff set their sights on raising the $30,000.

“We have not done anything this large before, but to be a part of something that raises this much was a great experience,” Principal Val Gallutia said. “And the kids learned some good lessons just thinking about others.”

The van wasn’t a complete surprise to Johnson, who had been in contact with school officials throughout the fundraising process. Johnson worked with Superior Van & Mobility in Lexington to find a van that would be best for her and her sons.

“It’s interesting because I saw the van on the Internet, and did not get to see it in person until a few weeks ago at the car show they did,” Johnson said. “And when I saw it I broke down crying.”

In addition to the van, a book, donated by Cloud Printing, was given to the family. It featured pieces written and illustrated by students about what they learned from the fundraising process.

Efforts included in-school fundraising projects, a Facebook page as well as business vendors helping, too. The total raised was about $45,000. The extra money will be used for insurance and other expenses.

“As we started raising money we just started changing to a better van and now they have a top-of-the-line van,” said Cassy Churchill of Superior Van & Mobility.

“This here is going to change our lives immensely,” Johnson said.

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Wounded Warrior Receives Camo Accessible Van

A very deserving disabled veteran was presented with an accessible van converted by BraunAbility, a manufacturer of wheelchair accessible vehicles.

Lance Corporal Michael DeLancey was presented a camo-wrapped accessible van alongside BraunAbility employees who have served in the military.

Winamac, IN (PRWEB) May 23, 2013

A very deserving wounded veteran was presented with a customized camouflaged accessible van on behalf of BraunAbility, a leading manufacturer of wheelchair accessible vehicles based in Winamac.

Lance Corporal Michael DeLancey, a native of Pinellas Park, Florida, was injured in Iraq in 2006 when a sniper’s bullet pierced his spinal cord, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down and critically damaging his lung. Despite the life-altering injury, DeLancey has been a force of positive change. He serves as an ambassador for Wounded Warrior Project and speaks with fellow veterans recovering from serious injuries.

“As a Marine, Mike has built his life upon the three Corps Values: Honor, Courage and Commitment,” said Kevin McMahon, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “These are values that our founder Ralph Braun believed in – and they are values that the people of this company hold true.”

The completely camouflage-covered vehicle will transport DeLancey to his volunteer work with veteran organizations and events in his home state of Florida and nationwide.

BraunAbility, founded in 1972, has a long history of serving veterans with disabilities. Many of the company’s first customers were newly injured veterans returning from the Vietnam war at a time when people with disabilities had very few mobility options.

Held at BraunAbility corporate headquarters in Winamac, the presentation was an opportunity for the company to not only honor Lance Corporal DeLancey, but current employees who had served in the military as well. In honor of DeLansky’s visit to the company and all company veterans, BraunAbility employees wore red, white and blue.

“Thank you for your service, for your commitment, and we celebrate the many ways you continue to serve our country,” added McMahon.

The presentation, appropriately, occurred just before Memorial Day weekend and during National Military Appreciation Month.

The Transition to a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle

The transition into a handicap accessible minivan is one that may be a big change. For handicap individuals who have been getting by with a car or even without transportation- it isn’t always an easy choice to invest in a wheelchair accessible vehicle. While choosing to transition into a wheelchair accessible vehicle may not be an easy choice, it is one that is worth considering.

The comfort that a wheelchair accessible van provides is an investment in itself. While it may be possible to transfer from wheelchair to vehicle now, the convenience of owning a wheelchair accessible van is something that a passenger will thank himself or herself for later. With conversions that provide safety and make each vehicle easy to load, a wheelchair van will provide convenience for many years to come. Each van is truly an investment that will last a lifetime.

In some cases, the decision to switch to a handicap accessible vehicle is part of the lifelong process of adapting to a disability. However, with the addition of a wheelchair van, it is easier for passengers to focus on the things that matter the most to them, making transportation one less thing to worry about. The quality of life and peace of mind that a wheelchair accessible vehicle provides can enhance the safety, convenience and quality of life that every human deserves.

At Superior Van and Mobility, we understand the unique handicap challenges that our customers confront each day. With our full line of handicap accessible minivans, we believe that we have the vehicle to provide our customers with the comfort and mobility they deserve. We invite our customers to contact us anytime to discuss mobility options.

Reversing paralysis with a restorative gel

Posted By News On May 13, 2013 – 4:30pm

Some parts of the body, like the liver, can regenerate themselves after damage. But others, such as our nervous system, are considered either irreparable or slow to recover, leaving thousands with a lifetime of pain, limited mobility, or even paralysis.

Now a team of Tel Aviv University researchers, including Dr. Shimon Rochkind of TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center and Prof. Zvi Nevo of TAU’s Department of Human Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry have invented a method for repairing damaged peripheral nerves. Through a biodegradable implant in combination with a newly-developed Guiding Regeneration Gel (GRG) that increases nerve growth and healing, the functionality of a torn or damaged nerve could ultimately be restored.

This innovative project is now gaining international recognition. Its initial successes were reported recently at several renowned scientific congresses, including the World Federation of Neurological Societies and the European Neurological Society. And the therapy, already tested in animal models, is only a few years away from clinical use, says Dr. Rochkind.

Like healing in the womb

A nerve is like an electrical cable. When severed or otherwise damaged, power can no longer be transferred and the cable loses its functionality. Similarly, a damaged nerve loses the ability to transfer signals for movement and feeling through the nervous system.

But Dr. Rochkind and Prof. Nevo found a way to breach the gap. In their method, two severed ends of a damaged nerve are reconnected by implanting a soft, biodegradable tube, which serves as a bridge to help the nerve ends connect. The innovative gel which lines the inside of the tube nurtures nerve fibers’ growth, encouraging the nerve to reconnect the severed ends through the tube, even in cases with massive nerve damage, Dr. Rochkind says.

The key lies in the composition of the gel, the researchers say, which has three main components: anti-oxidants, which exhibit high anti-inflammatory activities; synthetic laminin peptides, which act as a railway or track for the nerve fibers to grow along; and hyaluronic acid, commonly found in the human fetus, which serves as a buffer against drying, a major danger for most implants. These components allow the nerve to heal the way a fetus does in the womb — quickly and smoothly.

Keeping cells safe for transplant

The implant has already been tested in animal models, and the gel by itself can be used as a stand-alone product, acting as an aid to cell therapy. GRG is not only able to preserve cells, it can support their survival while being used for therapy and transplantation, says Dr. Rochkind. When grown in the gel, cells show excellent development, as well as intensive fiber growth. This could have implications for the treatment of diseases such as Parkinson’s, for which researchers are actively exploring cell therapy as a potential solution.

Source: American Friends of Tel Aviv University


News Release
Scott Black | 214.520.3430 ext. 303 |

PHOENIX, Ariz. –May 14, 2013 – Top dealers for Vantage Mobility International (VMI), a leader in the manufacture and distribution of wheelchair accessible full-size and minivan conversions, are rallying around MV-1 owners. When top media outlets reported that Vehicle Production Group (VPG), producers of the MV-1, had shut down operations, VMI and their dealers created an emergency response phone number and internet
clearing house to help consumers who may have difficulties getting service and parts. MV-1 owners who would like to speak with a VMI customer representative can call 1-855-VPG-VANS or visit

“For more than 25 years, wheelchairs users and their caregivers have trusted VMI and our dealers to solve their mobility challenges,” said Doug Eaton, president and CEO of VMI. “In fact, our top priority has always been to take care of our customers. That’s why we appreciate our Select Dealer Network taking the initiative to create a support program for MV-1 owners and help ensure that none of them are left stranded. If we can help just one
customer get out of a safety bind or access reliable mobility transportation, we’ll have played a positive role in this mess.”

The VPG crisis hotline and website is set up to help MV-1 owners find some answers to their questions and navigate through the uncertainty of VPG’s future. “We’re prepared to go to great lengths to help VPG customers who’ve been left in the dark,” said Richard May
president of the VMI Select Dealer Network and founder of United Access, a national mobility chain with 13 locations. “Safety and customer satisfaction are our top priorities for our customers. That’s why we’re saddened that a wheelchair user might experience additional hardship in finding service for their MV-1.”

VMI’s Select Dealer Network, which has locations across the country, offers a variety of support options for their mobility customers including:
• Certified technicians on the equipment they sell, install and service
• 24 hour customer service
• Wheelchair accessible van rentals
• Maintenance records of all adaptive work
• Commitment to volunteerism, event sponsorships and donations within the mobility community

VMI is a manufacturer and distributor of the most innovative, reliable, highest quality and easily accessible transportation in the world. Their full line of products include domestic and import minivan conversions, full-size van conversions, platform lifts, scooter and wheelchair lifts and transfer seats. VMI’s mobility products enable consumers to travel with comfort, convenience and peace of mind. For more information, contact Scott.

Wheelchair Conversion Vans Bring Comfort to Your Commute

The Conversion Conundrum
A long trip can be a very memorable experience for many different reasons. Long trips can mean great times of bonding and forging life-long memories. But sometimes long distance trips can be uncomfortable treks that seem to never end and the only relief is when it’s actually over.
Regardless of how good or bad the trip turns out to be, traveling in comfort will make it much easier. If traveling in comfort appeals to you, purchasing a wheelchair conversion van is the option to choose.
Handicap conversion vans also serve another function. They can aid in that transport of people with disabilities. Each wheelchair conversion van can be customized to various needs to accommodate those with disabilities.
What’s In It For You?
The next big questions are what features can be added to a new accessible full-size van or minivan?
A typical wheelchair conversion van can have any number of standard and special features added to it. Most of these features are aesthetic in nature and have to do with what type of wheels you might want or the style of the interior. The more luxurious options feature enhanced sound systems, special inputs for gaming consoles and media players, and LCD screens for viewing.
There are a number of helpful features available for a handicap conversion van. These conversion vans offer wheelchair ramps, lifts and carriers that can help a person in a wheelchair get in and out of their vehicle. They also can be fitted with safety locks that keep wheelchair passengers in place. These features can make a wheelchair conversion van safer and more accessible for anyone using it.


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Handicap Parking Violators – There Is An App For That

By: Brendan Keefe,
NEWPORT, Ky. – Why was a man in a wheelchair parking in the very last space in a strip mall parking lot?

“There were no handicapped spots available,” said Paul Mohr, a man fighting against the physical limitations of multiple sclerosis.
Mohr was going to a gym in his wheelchair to keep up his strength, but there was no place to park his ramp-equipped van near the entrance.
“I need one where the right side will be accessible to deploy the ramp,” Mohr said.

When the only van-accessible spot is taken by someone else with a handicapped placard — or a driver without one — Mohr is forced to go to the end of the lot where he can be sure no one will park next to him, blocking the ramp. Continue reading


Click the banner below to enter for your chance to win! (No Purchase Necessary)

Superior Van and Mobility, VMI and Toyota Motor Sales USA have teamed up for the Operation Independence Star Spangled Salute, a national contest to give our disabled military veterans the chance to win a VMI Northstar Access360 conversion on a 2013 Toyota Sienna SE.

The online contest runs through November 10, 2013, and is open to ALL disabled U.S. Veterans. The winner will be randomly drawn on Veteran’s Day, November 11. The Star Spangled Salute contest is a part of VMI’s Operation Independence program.

Full contest rules are on the registration site.

Handicap Van Options Make Transit Easy

Handicap Van Options Make Transit Easy

What Can These Options Do For You?
New or used handicap vans are the main means of transportation for people with disabilities. They can compensate for most disabilities while providing comfort with the available options. Depending on your disability, you can choose which options would best fit your needs.

Here’s a list of customized options. These options will make commuting easier and more comfortable for you and your family.

The Options
The main options for additional handicap van equipment include; Bruno Valet, portable ramps, hand controls, driving aids, lifts, jump seats, wheelchair tie-downs, transfer seats and platform carriers. Here’s a description of each:
• Driving Aids: Driving aids include pedal extensions, wheelchair pulleys and sensors to help drivers maneuver safely.
• Bruno Valets: A Bruno Valet allows someone with limited mobility to get in and out of their vehicle with very little effort and strain.
• Lifts and Platform Carriers: Lifts and platform carriers are probably one of the most useful options for a handicap vans and other accessible vehicles. Lifts and platform carriers for a van can be mounted internally or externally to your vehicle. They can lift a person in a wheelchair in and out of the car or store a mobile scooter during a commute.
• Portable Ramps: A portable ramp is a less expensive option to a lift or carrier. A ramp is portable and can be taken anywhere where there is no accessible ramp for a wheelchair.
• Wheelchair Tie Downs: wheelchair tie-downs can be installed into the floor of a handicap van to secure wheelchairs during transit.
• Hand Controls: In the instance of someone who has limited or no use of their legs, that person can have hand controls installed into their steering column so they can operate their vehicle.
• Jump Seats: Jump seats can be installed into your handicap van to accommodate non-disabled passengers. They can fold down to create more room or fold out to transport more passengers.
• Transfer Seats: A transfer seat works just like a lift and platform carrier. It can lift a wheelchair into a handicap van.
Understanding all of these options will make customizing your handicap van an easier process.