UPDATE: Family raising money for wheelchair van reaches goal

Published: Feb. 25, 2021 at 4:37 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Organizers of a fundraiser aimed at helping a Sioux Falls family raise money to purchase a wheelchair-accessible van has reached its goal.

The family of 9-year-old Dezzirae Woods of Sioux Falls has received over $5,800 - surpassing the $4,500 they needed to buy the van.

Last month, we introduced you to 9-year-old Dezzirae Woods of Sioux Falls. She has a rare genetic disorder called Giant Axonal Neuropathy, which affects her movement and physical functions.

Her family has partnered with the non-profit Help Hope Live. An organization specializing in helping families raise funds for medical costs.

Dezzirae uses a power chair and has a van that gets her to and from appointments. Unfortunately, the van broke down so the family has been trying to raise funds to purchase a new one.

The family found one that will fit her needs, but they’re under a bit of a time constraint to purchase it. So they’re calling on the public for help.

Dezzirae Woods has been through a lot in her life.

“She’s lost her ability to walk. She is in a chair full time now, her breathing is affected. She has to have breathing treatments here at home on a daily basis,” said mom, Rachel Woods.

Despite everything, “Has kept her spirits up. She does not let anything bring her down, she has been my inspiration, my rock, my strength,” said Woods.

A wheelchair accessible van makes a big impact in Dezzirae’s life. Not only does it help get her to and from medical appointments in and out of state.

“It’s going to get her out and about in the community, get her with her peers where she’s not constantly sitting in the home like she has been lately,” said Woods.

Wheelchair accessible vans can be costly. The family ended up finding one for sale for an amazing deal. The van was originally around $9,900.

“He said that they were willing to bring it down to $7,460. I mean so that’s quite a savings right there. I mean that’s very sweet of them to do,” said Woods.

However, the family only has three more days to raise money to purchase it. A dealership in Marshall, Minnesota has offered to hold the van until Saturday at 4 p.m.

The family has around $4,500 left to raise. They have a fundraising page through Help Hope Live.

“This is exceptional. We work with thousands of families across the country everyday and this is an incredible, incredible opportunity for this family. And so in three days we can raise $5,000 dollars and then they can have the van they so desperately need,” said Kelly Green, Executive Director of Help Hope Live.

To those who’ve already donated Dezzirae has this message: “She asked me if I would thank you. So from Dezzirae thank you from the bottom of her little heart,” said Woods.

If you’re interested in donating click here.

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