The winners of the “National Mobility Awareness Month” contest have been announced -- and each of them has been awarded a customized wheelchair accessible van! They are:
• Alberto Cruz (from Connecticut) – Last summer, the 15-year-old became paralyzed while surfing on Narragansett Beach, R.I. Despite grueling therapy sessions after the accident, Cruz chose to continue his schooling and remain connected with his community. This moved his teacher, Lynn Frazier, who nominated him as a Local Hero. "Heroes attract other heroes. Alberto's courage touched something deep inside my students and their families," said Frazier. "It planted a seed of hope in our community."
• Ken Davert (from Michigan) – Managing his own cerebral palsy, Ken and his family are also coping with wife Missy's and their 13-year-old twins’ (Austin and Michaela) osteogenesis imperfecta (which is a brittle bone condition). The family is active in their community from Michaela in Girl Scouts to Missy as a life-long advocate for people with disabilities.
• Ron Miner (from Illinois) – Miner is a disabled, U.S. Army veteran who was injured during active duty. After the incident, he became depressed. However, upon hearing about a wheelchair bodybuilding competition, he resolved to turn his life around. With intense training, he became a Wheelchair Bodybuilding Champion and won numerous gold medals at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games. Today, he is an activist for those with disabilities.
If you want to hear more about their stories, click here.
Each winner will take ownership of their vans, valued at $40,000 each, later this summer. Sponsors Toyota, SanTan Honda in Chandler, Ariz. and Chrysler came together to provide the vehicles, which will now be modified by NMEDA member manufacturers – BraunAbility and Vantage Mobility International.
This was the first year of the contest, which was sponsored by the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA). It drew in more than 1,700 entries and 1.2 million votes were cast online. The purpose was to spread the word among seniors, veterans and people with disabilities across the U.S. and Canada that a variety of mobility options are available to help them lead more independent lives.
Bussani Mobility Team wants to thank all of our customers who participated in the contest.