MDFF is so glad that we were able to give the Mayotte family a much needed accessible van this year. We worked with Superior Van & Mobility for finding the van and getting it customized for the family.
From Reid's Mom, Calli, in her own words:
The day we knew we were receiving news regarding the van, one way or the other, was like waiting for Christmas morning as a kid. Both boys were aware that we were waiting for the phone call and Cooper was counting down the hours until we would learn for sure. We were very nervous but also very excited. When the call came through, both Richard and I were too shocked for words. The instant feeling of relief that you can finally meet such a huge need for your child is indescribable and brought us both to tears.
Owning a van that is accessible for Reid truly means the world to us. We have been working for years to try to make life comfortable for him, but as he grows things have to change quickly. Reid goes to appointments often and riding in the car is uncomfortable for him in his medical carseat. Because of his discomfort, Reid doesn't get out of the house much outside of school and appointments, so this is going to completely change his quality of life for the better. The ability to take my entire family to somewhere as simple as the grocery store is finally an option, and that thought alone brings me to tears.
Both Richard and I really want to take the boys to Gatlinburg and stay in the mountains. Reid LOVES nature and listening to birds, so it seems like the perfect trip for Spring Break! We will also be able to take our van to medical conferences to learn more about treatment options for Reid's specific genetic condition and network with other families like ours. Cooper is excited that everyone will be able to attend his spring sporting events as he is an avid baseball player, playing locally and on a travel ball team. We will plan at least one family trip nearby one of his tournaments for some family fun in the summer and will be able to do more outings with a van that meets Reid's needs. In January, we plan to take Reid to the Children's Museum to see the Dinosaur Train exhibit that is opening. He knows ALL the words to the theme song and loves the show.
Reid also loves music and dancing! Singing with Reid while he is lip syncing is one of our family's favorite things to do in the car. Reid loves nature, particularly flowers and hearing birds chirp. Reid loves his family deeply and shares a special bond with his big brother, Cooper, with a special handshake routine. Reid loves making others laugh and often will have jokes programmed into his LAMP device. He enjoys spending time with his two best friends at school who love to help him get to class and turn in his work.
For other families looking for hope and help our biggest words of encouragement would be to never give up. Leave no stone unturned and network like crazy to learn more and lean on others going through the same things that you are. While we haven't been involved with MDFF for a long duration of time, the love and support we have felt has been everything we needed and didn't even know it. Having a local organization that understands and embraces the challenges and celebrates the positives brings us so much hope for our future as Reid's parents and caregivers. Connection is needed and representation matters.
Words can't even describe how thankful we are for this opportunity to provide a better quality of life for our boy – the life that he deserves, filled with opportunities, outings within our local community, and to make memories as a family is finally his reality. This is something that we have been trying to achieve for years now as a family but continued to meet roadblocks and hurdles. We are a family who works hard for everything we have and rarely ask for help, often helping others before meeting our own needs, and this is such a humbling experience for us to feel the love we often give to others.
Our connection with MDFF may have just recently begun, but this is the start of something much more for our family. We are excited to engage in more activities available, network, and support families like ours. I have also reached out to other families with the same condition as Reid has to ensure that they are aware of this resource available to their children.