New Year, New Hope for a Family Living with Spinal Muscular Atrophy
BraunAbility partnered with Laughing at My Nightmare to donate a CompanionVan to a Texas family to wrap up its 50th anniversary celebration.
DALLAS – January 05, 2023 – For the last few years, Jaysa Armstrong and her husband, Justin, have lifted their six-year-old daughter, Fynlee, and her wheelchair in and out of their car each time they make their multiple trips to medical visits and treatment appointments.
As she grew older and bigger, the stress and physical strain of transferring Fynlee, a “sassy and spunky little girl” who has Spinal Muscular Atrophy, and her equipment had become more and more difficult for the family of Clyde, TX.
But the new year brings new hope for the Armstrong family, thanks to the donation of a wheelchair accessible vehicle over the holidays made possible by BraunAbility, the global leader in automotive mobility solutions.
“This van will completely change our entire family’s mindset; it will bring peace of mind,” said Jaysa Armstrong. “Now we can think about what we can do instead of what we can’t, all because we now have an accessible vehicle.”
To recognize its 50th anniversary, BraunAbility partnered with nonprofit Laughing at My Nightmare to award the wheelchair accessible vehicle to an individual or family living with Muscular Dystrophy.
Like Fynlee, the founders of both BraunAbility and LAMN were diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy at a young age, and both used the diagnosis as a catalyst for inclusion for the disability community.
“When our founder, Ralph Braun, was a young man in the 1940s, he faced significant odds. Only he and his family believed he’d become a contributing member of the community someday,” said BraunAbility Senior Brand Manager Megan Wegner. “Ralph literally engineered his own independence, and in doing so, he gave people with mobility challenges the ability to be seen, to be included in society.”
This donation both celebrates BraunAbility’s 50th anniversary and shines a light on families like the Armstrongs who, day in and day out, do whatever it takes to ensure their child with SMA has the same opportunities as other children.
The Armstrong family was surprised with the news during a video call earlier this fall. LAMN announced the giveaway in September, and the winning family was selected in November.
“Many disabled people do not have access to the equipment they need to thrive,” stated Shane Burcaw, founder of LAMN. “Living with a disability myself, I know how frustrating it can be when needs go unmet. We created this organization to fill those gaps for as many people as possible.”
The BraunAbility® CompanionVan® is built on a Pacifica Voyager chassis and features a manual ramp and a lowered floor in the mid-section of the vehicle for easy maneuverability and securement of a wheelchair passenger. The family received the keys to the vehicle and a full overview of its functions at United Access, a BraunAbility mobility dealership with over 30 nationwide locations.
“We can’t wait to see how this BraunAbility wheelchair van enhances this family’s life, and we hope it allows Fynlee to explore the world and participate fully with her peers,” added Burcaw.
Since its founding nearly 10 years ago, LAMN has provided nearly $1 million in adaptive and medical equipment to qualifying individuals and families. Learn more at https://www.laughingatmynightmare.com/.