Jett Foundation Helps Arizona Family Purchase Accessible Van for Two Sons Impacted by Duchenne

December 23, 2020

Congratulations to the Morton family in Arizona! Brothers Ian (15) and Jackson (12), their mom Amanda, stepdad Jason, and big step sister Ashley recently received their accessible van as part of Jett Foundation’s Jett Giving Fund.

Ian and Jackson were diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy in August 2009. Ian missed all of his milestones and at the age of four could not pedal a tricycle or climb stairs; that is when mom Amanda knew something was wrong. After blood work and genetic testing, Ian was diagnosed with Duchenne. Because Duchenne is genetic, the family had bloodwork done for Jackson as well, which confirmed his Duchenne diagnosis.

The Morton family rarely left their home, having no safe or easy way to transport the boys’ heavy, customized mobility devices. Without an accessible van, getting to and from doctor’s appointments and school was extremely difficult in one vehicle and left the family in constant fear of the boys or a helper getting hurt in the process.

Lack of safe transportation also made fun family activities challenging and, with the global pandemic, Ian and Jackson were feeling more isolated than ever.

“As a family, we love trying new restaurants together and going to sporting events, but it was getting near impossible to go somewhere in one car together,” said Amanda. “Outings were meticulously planned because of how hard it was to bring the boys places. Planning doctors appointments was very challenging as we couldn’t just go to their schools and easily pick them up. That is why we applied to the Jett Giving Fund.”

The Jett Giving Fund is a Jett Foundation program that helps families impacted by Duchenne obtain vital medical and accessibility equipment. Health insurance often won’t–or simply don’t–cover all specialized medical and accessibility equipment, such as scooters, shower chairs, ramps, rotational beds, accessible vans, and other essential items needed when dealing with a progressive muscle-wasting disorder. Families raise half the funds, or more, needed for a specific item, and Jett Foundation covers the remaining costs and works with vendors to help bring families their much-needed equipment.

With the help and support of their family, community and local organizations, the Morton family raised half the funds needed for their $60,000 accessible van. Jett Foundation covered the remaining half for the family, helping them to receive their van amidst the global pandemic.

On the day their van was delivered, the boys were at school. Amanda and Jason surprised them with the van when they got home. (Watch their reaction here.)

“The boys were definitely surprised and Ian had happy tears,” said Amanda. “That night we took the boys and our family out to eat at a Cajun restaurant and had a great time celebrating getting the van!

“The van has changed our lives! When it’s safe (because of COVID-19), we are planning to go to Morgan’s Wonderland in Texas, it’s all the boys have been talking about,” said Amanda. “We are so grateful to the Jett Foundation and Purple Ribbon Mobility. We would not have been able to get the van without the help from them and the whole DMD community. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!”

You can help us support more families like the Mortons. Consider a gift during this giving season to Jett Foundation’s Annual Appeal to support programs like the Jett Giving Fund and more.

Started in 2017, Jett Giving Fund has helped transform the lives of countless families across the country with over $1.5 million worth of accessible equipment thanks to the generous support of individual donors and major sponsors including Cure Dale’s Duchenne and Sarepta Therapeutics.

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