The Muscular Dystrophy Family Foundation is so grateful to all of our supporters past and present for providing us with funding to be able to give accessible vans to Hoosiers navigating the difficulties of living life with muscular dystrophy and transportation needs. Having an accessible vehicle is highly important for fostering independence and helping individuals and families live life to the fullest.

We are so grateful to partner with Superior Van & Mobility and Vocational Rehabilitation for getting Markyia her accessible van. MDFF funded the chassis (the van itself before being converted to be accessible), and Vocational Rehabilitation is helping Chloe with driver’s training, installing hand controls, and the accessible conversion of the van. Superior Van & Mobility, a long-time partner with MDFF, found the perfect van for Chloe. Together, we make a tremendous difference to give individuals and families access to transportation.

Below is a Q&A with Chloe, the recipient of our second partnership with Vocational Rehabilitation.

What was the moment like when you found out that you were getting a van? The moment that I found out I was a recipient of the 2023 Van giveaway I was filled with so many overwhelming feelings of excitement, and awe. I had actually just woken up when I got a phone call from my mother saying “have you checked your texts?” I immediately put the phone on speaker and opened up my texts. I see a message from Tim Doyle explaining to me that I was selected as a recipient of the 2023 Van Giveaway. I responded to Tim’s text and thanked him profusely for his role with MDFF and all of the work he did to make it possible for so many people in the past and now so many people in the future to be able to have an opportunity like this.

What does having the van mean to you and your family? Having this van for me and my family means freedom. Freedom to feel a little bit more “normal”. In my case, I am getting help through Voc Rehab to get my van converted for me to be able to drive as a disabled woman. Driving is something I had always dreamed of but genuinely never knew was possible. Actually thanks to Tim, I learned it was possible. I will be able to take myself to appointments, to school (college), to the grocery store (which weirdly I’m so excited for), and so much more. This van means taking back my life and beginning my future in advocating for others in similar situations.

What is a fun trip that you have done in your van? Or, what is a fun trip you have planned for the future? Once I complete drivers training within the next few months I plan to take a weekend trip to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. It’s probably one of the most “typical” vacation spots for someone from the Midwest, however it is what I call my second home. Everything about the mountains is peaceful. I just love it.

What are some of your hobbies/interests? I love going on any kind of adventure whether it be just a stroll through the neighborhood or a trip halfway across the country with CureSMA for their annual conference where I can socialize with hundreds of others who have the same disability that I do. I love advocating for those who don’t have a voice or might just be a little afraid of using it. Ever since I was a little girl I have loved to sing, I did talent shows and musicals up until I was discouraged by a not-so-nice teacher who wouldn't let me perform in the school musical because “I couldn't dance and walk”. NOW I know how wrong this was, and I want to be there for people who go through similar situations. This summer I have really gotten into gardening with bucket gardening, which is such an amazing option for those with special mobility needs! All my life I have been considered a very crafty girl - I love drawing, painting, doing DIY projects, I can do some pretty adventurous makeup looks, and I've even gotten into tattooing micro tattoos over the past couple of years!

What would you tell other families who are looking for hope and help? To all other families who are looking for help, I promise you that the resources are out there, you just have to be willing to put in the work making those phone calls and filling out all kinds of paperwork, but it is worth it in the end, boy is it worth it. MDFF is an amazing resource for Indiana residents. Voc Rehab is amazing as long as you are willing to be patient with their whole process, and there are so many more resources out there.

Anything you would like to say to the donors who support MDFF? To all of the donors and sponsors who support MDFF, thank you is not even enough to describe the gratitude and appreciation I have for everything you all have done and continue to do to give the disabled community the unwavering help and support to make our lives a little bit easier. Thank you, seriously.