Did you know?
There are more than 18 million people throughout the U.S. and Canada that have mobility challenges, and just under 1/3 of these do not have adequate transportation. This means they are unable to work, go to necessary medical appointments, and their ability to engage in any type of social activity is significantly limited or nonexistent. The foundation’s founder, Ralph Braun, believed in the principle that everyone has the right to accessible transportation, and that is why he created the Ralph Braun Foundation (now the National Organization for Vehicle Accessibility – NOVA): to help people achieve their dreams of mobility.
Every Grant Is a Dream Come True
NOVA is a non-profit organization that provides grants to those who cannot afford the often high cost of vehicle modifications. This program assists individuals of all ages throughout the continental United States and Canada to bridge the funding gap in order to purchase needed mobility equipment. Since our inception in 2010, we have helped dozens of individuals and families achieve their mobility freedom.
Braden is a 14-year-old young man who was diagnosed with the neurological disorders Dystonia and Mitochondrial Disorder, as well as Auditory Neuropathy. While he currently uses a manual wheelchair, he will soon be moving into a power wheelchair, which will allow him the ability to keep up with his friends and participate in activities that other teenagers enjoy. When Braden’s mom, Sarah, submitted their grant application, she wrote, “Braden is a wonderful, bright, funny, and beautiful teenager. He is so much more than what is written about him in his overly thick medical file. His spirit, adaptability, and motivation is contagious. I often wonder who needs who the most.” The assistance received from our grant program, along with a generous contribution from our friends at Q’Straint, helped Sarah and Braden gain the remaining funds needed to achieve their mobility goals. The smile on this handsome young man’s face is the best thank you we could receive! Sarah wrote us this letter expressing how the things that many of us take for granted are monumental for their family:
“The opportunity the accessible van has allowed Braden is to be able to go into places and not have to ask. I no longer have to put together his chair and transfer him in and out. To some this may not seem like a big deal, but at 14 years old Braden has grown into a young man.
He has freedom now on a completely different level. The first thing Braden wanted to do once we got the van was [to] go into the local grocery store. Many times I have just run a quick errand for an item or two while he has waited. This is a freedom we quite often take for granted, but for Braden, it is life changing. It may seem silly, but as a mom, I’m still in awe of watching Braden experience this. I am so very thankful and he is too.” – Sarah & Braden
Visit www.novafunding.org for more stories of inspiration and details on how to apply for funding.