Getting in the car and going to a doctor’s appointment is a task that many of us take for granted. For Leslie Crowley, it was a herculean feat. Leslie (also known as joker, joke, bun, les, or junior) is a 26-year-old young man from Georgia, living with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. “Diagnosed at age 8 my life overnight had miraculously changed and proposed a challenge that no parent should ever have to bear witness to,” says Leslie.
Leslie has always tried to maintain his independence by joining activities such as ballet, dance, chorus, t-ball, and soccer. He has now even pursued rap and music production (J0k3 Music LLC & JokeCBD), operating and creating music on his own.
Due to a recent fall, Leslie sustained a broken femur bone right above the knee, losing his ability to walk completely–while also being unable to breath on his own. This has made it harder for Leslie to travel and has become stressful on himself as well as those caring for him. His existing transportation was neither accessible nor reliable, and Leslie was often left feeling isolated and alone. “It’s depressing to watch as everyone can easily travel, and I have to rely on my father, mother, brothers, sister, family, Doug, and other friends to lift me into their vehicles,” he says.
Leslie applied to Jett Foundation’s Accessible Vehicle Fund, a branch of the Jett Giving Fund program, because of the costly expense of accessible vehicles. Leslie became aware of the Accessible Vehicle Fund through one of Jett Foundation’s Community Ambassadors, and Duchenne mom, Jessica Campbell, who had also received assistance through Jett Foundation.
“I put my pride aside and stretched out my arms for assistance. This will greatly improve my quality of life and boost my independence. Not only that, but allow me to conduct both my businesses and support my disabled community,” said Leslie.
Jett Foundation was able to accept 14 families into the program this year, and Leslie was selected. With an outpouring of support from his community, Leslie raised half the funds needed, with Jett Foundation covering the remaining costs and purchasing him his new van. Now Leslie can’t wait to travel safely, go to the recording studio, and continue filming his documentary thanks to his new means of transportation! Leslie now has the freedom, independence, and empowerment to overcome another hurdle that Duchenne had thrown his way.
“It will eliminate all the work of loading me into a vehicle and allow me to travel places more freely and safely. Also, it’ll allow me to complete tasks fundamental to operating my business,” he says.
Leslie wants to let those seeking assistance know that they are not in their battles alone. To future recipients of our Accessible Vehicle Fund program, Leslie says, “Trust in the process and keep faith alive!”
You can help us to support more families through the two branches of Jett Giving Fund: the Accessible Vehicle Fund and the Emergency Fund. Donate today or learn more about becoming a sponsor by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Established in 2017, Jett Giving Fund has helped transform the lives of countless families across the country with over $2.5 million worth of accessible equipment and emergency assistance thanks to the generous support of individual donors, local communities, and major sponsors including Cure Dale’s Duchenne, Sarepta Therapeutics, FibroGen, the Flatley Foundation, and the Killian Family.