Holly and Todd St. Pierre. try out the new van they received thanks to several generous organizations.

Wheelchair accessible van a gift to Nelson family in need

Money raised to purchase $54,000 vehicle that the family would not have been able to afford but needed desperately.

A costly specialized van that will help one Nelson mother move around her six-year-old son arrived in Nelson this week — thanks to funds raised.

Cari Julien, an occupational therapist with Kootenay Kids Society, helped raise money for the $54,000 vehicle that the family would not have been able to afford but needed desperately.

“This is a once in a lifetime chance for this family to get this kind of van,” said Julien. “She would never be able to afford this van independently.”

Holly St. Pierre’s son Todd was born with his corpus callosum not formed properly and along with using a wheel chair, he has many other pieces of equipment that help him in his everyday life. He has equipment that helps him learn to walk, other equipment that helps him crawl and a little car that helps him move around.

“The mother has a bad back so putting everything in their little car was just too difficult,” said Julien.

Funders for the van from around the province include President’s Choice, Giving in Action, Variety and CKNW Orphans’ Fund.

Upkeep of the 2013 Chevy van will also be costly so Julien hopes service and parts stores in Nelson will come on board with offers to help. So far, OK Tire has donated along with Napa Auto Parts.

The local Real Canadian Wholesale Club also donated $7,500.

All those who worked toward this goal will celebrate on April 3 at 12:15 at the Wholesale Club on Lakeside Drive. It’s an exciting development for those who’ve been working with the family who often goes to Vancouver to see specialists.

“They often need to bring their equipment so the van will help with transportation of the equipment and people who can assist during those visits,” said Julien.

The St. Pierre’s also like to be outdoors and camp so a van makes this a more easily achievable outing, she added.

“This van provides ease of access to the community and just helps expand their experience around the West Kootenay.”

 

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