It was a rainy Friday afternoon in December when MDFF staff, some board members, and supporters gathered together. We came from near and far to be present at the official day of the ‘handing of the keys’ to two families. These two very deserving families were each receiving their very own customized accessible vehicle. They had applied for a van through the MDFF Van Giveaway Program in the spring. It’s a long process, and the end finally arrived in December when the vans were polished, cleaned, and ready to go to their new homes. One of these families is the Huseman family.

Jaxon Huseman has Duchenne and is soon transitioning to a power wheelchair. Their old van is not wheelchair accessible. Jaxon’s father, Michael, had to physically lift Jaxon into their trailblazer in order to go anywhere. With Jaxon getting older and needing a power wheelchair, Michael was not sure what to do – how would he transport his son?

Michael is very humble and struggled with thoughts of applying to the MDFF Van Giveaway Program. He does not like asking for help. (In fact, Michael has taken on the work himself for many of their house modifications for making it accessible.) However, the need to somehow get an accessible vehicle, whose prices have greatly increased in the last few years, was strong. Michael and his girlfriend, Ashley, submitted an application and waited. Through the two rounds of paper applications, and a virtual interview with the committee, the family was hopeful that they may be one of the finalists selected.

The call from the committee came in September to let Michael, Ashley, and Jaxon know they were selected as one of the families to receive an accessible van. They were thrilled, humbled, and grateful. MDFF is equally appreciative that we are able to use the generosity of our supporters to help families like the Husemans. The world does not yet have a cure for muscular dystrophy. MDFF tries to make a difference one family at a time to help make life a little easier.

2022 Van Giveaway Program Results:

Thanks to the generosity of the community, MDFF is giving away four accessible vans in 2022, which marks a record of the most vans we have given away in a year. MDFF is paying the cost for three of the vans, and the fourth comes to MDFF through an anonymous generous donor who wanted to bless a family in Fort Wayne. That makes 12 accessible vans given away over the past seven years. Apart from the donated van to MDFF, the organization pays for the vans, conversion costs, and updates as Superior Van & Mobility, Inc. works to customize the van for each family.

From MDFF President, Tim Doyle, “Consider this situation - you are stuck at home, wheelchair bound, and your physical, spiritual and mental life are spiraling downward......Hope is lost and the outlook looks bleak......And then - you are given a beautiful $50,000 accessible wheelchair van for free - and your whole world and outlook immediately changes for the better! That's what MDFF provided to 12 different Indiana families over the past 7 years - and the result - tears of joy and a sense of freedom that they never quite experienced before!"