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Opelika family in need of wheelchair accessible van

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OPELIKA, Ala. - An Opelika family needs your help. They are raising money for a wheelchair accessible van for their 7 year old special needs daughter. Her name is Abbie. She suffers from a rare brain disorder. The disease attacks the portion of her brain that controls hearing, speech, balance and the ability to swallow.

"It was almost unreal. You can't accept it in a day," said Danielle Thomas.

Danielle is Abbie's mom. She learned of her daughter's condition when she was just months old. The doctors didn't expect the girl to live very long.
They told the family to get prepared to lose her. Abbie surpassed their expectations and has been a blessing to her family ever since.

"We don't take one smile for granted, one breath, one heartbeat. This baby has been my life," said Danielle.

The family needs your help. They are raising money to a wheelchair accessible van. The 7 year old is completely dependant on her parents. Danielle spends every day with the girl. Dressing her, getting her ready for school and taking her to the many doctors appointments she has each month. The travel has started to put a strain on both Danielle and Abbie. They don't have reliable transportation adn when they do have a car, Danielle has to pick up the 65 pound girl and carry her in and out of the car along with her wheelchair.

"It's hard. It's hard to sit at home and know you can't leave. You can't take your daughter out," said Danielle.

The van would make it easier on Danielle when they go to school, around town, and on Abbie's many doctors appointments. The van cost upwards of $60,000. If you are interested in helping the Thomas family, you can donate at http://www.gofundme.com/abbie you can also vote for the family to win a van at http://www.mobilityawarenessmonth.com/entrant/abbiegail-jackson-auburn-al/.

Naomi Keitt

Naomi Keitt focuses on education reporting for WRBL News 3. More>>

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