BraunAbility Wheelchair Lift Owner Calls His Van "Freedom"

Scott Drotar riding in a wheelchair van

"Growing up being trapped in a wheelchair makes it really hard to get from place to place," wrote Scott Drotar, a BraunAbility owner. "That is why so many disabled people end up as 'shut-ins,' prisoners in their own homes. It is not because they don't want to go out, they just do not have the means to do so due to the enormous price of wheelchair accessible vehicles. Fortunately, my family, with the help of some charity organizations, had the financial ability to purchase a wheelchair accessible van, which over the years has become a perfect representation of the freedom it has given me."

Scott proudly owned a 1997 green Ford Econoline E150. The vehicle featured a custom dropped floor for increased head room to accommodate his wheelchair, an automatic EZ Lock wheelchair lockdown mechanism, and a BraunAbility hydraulic lift to enter and exit. Scott called his van "priceless" and fondly remembers the many trips he's been able to take and places he's experienced thanks to his ability to go whenever he wanted -- Niagara Falls, Fenway Park, Disneyworld, Dallas -- the list goes on and on. 

"It gave me the freedom to go to school, first at Notre Dame and then at the University of Kansas, where I learned to help others," says Scott. "It gave me the freedom to live on my own, by providing me the means with which I can run errands and get groceries. It gave me the freedom to have a normal social life, because it gave me a vehicle to go out with friends to a movie or go on a date. It gave me the freedom to dream big, when it took me to go on a cruise by myself or on an impulse to drive 45 minutes for Whitecastle (I have weird dreams). It gave me so many little things that are too numerous to list, and to most people would seem very trivial, but allowed me to have a normal life. Most importantly though, it gave me the freedom to choose. To choose to live a full, happy life that I am so proud of. A life filled with freedom."

Scott knows he was fortunate to have an accessible vehicle at his disposal. The life he loved was made possible because of this vehicle. At the time of writing, the much-beloved vehicle was 15 years old and had nearly 200,000 miles on it. Still, Scott insists, every mile, every dent, and every scratch is a memory he made because he was able to experience the world around him. 

Sadly, Scott passed away in 2017. He was a loyal customer and longtime friend of BraunAbility.

Scott Drotar smiles at the camera from inside his wheelchair accessible van

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