Meet the Garcia Family! Brothers, Ricky, 14 years old and Isaiah, 12 years old, live in Florida with their parents Jahaira and Ricardo, and their service dog, Beasley. Ricky is part of the school chorus and Isaiah participates in the STEM program. The boys, along with their parents Jahaira and Ricardo, are very active in their community participating in school functions, field trips, and recitals. Both brothers are living with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a progressive and rare neuromuscular disorder, and use motorized wheelchairs to get around.
The Garcia Family had an accessible minivan that was over 20 years old and frequently broke down. Transporting two motorized wheelchairs in a minivan, which isn’t truly equipped to carry so much weight, was taking a toll on the vehicle. It would often break down causing the boys to miss monthly medical appointments at the neuromuscular clinic, 50 miles away. Now they are able to go from place to place without having to worry about these issues and will finally get to travel further than their clinic.
That’s where Jett Giving Fund comes in. Jett Giving Fund is Jett Foundation’s matching gift program that helps families across the country impacted by Duchenne in the purchase of accessible and vital equipment, like accessible vans. Health insurance often won’t cover all specialized medical and accessibility equipment such as scooters, shower chairs, ramps, rotational medical beds, platform lifts, and handicap accessible vans; items needed when suffering from a progressive muscle-wasting disorder. Jett Giving Fund helps to bring these expensive pieces of equipment within financial reach.
With the aid of their community, including support from firefighters of the local fire station where Ricardo works and Firefighters on a Mission, Daytona Fire Department, Laborer’s Local Union #517, and the Volusia County Hispanic Association the boys reached their goal of raising half the funds needed for their $32,000 accessible van and Jett Foundation matched the remaining 50 percent to purchase the van for the family.
The Garcia family got to celebrate their van’s arrival on February 23rd at Dewey Booster Sports Complex in Deltona, FL with their family, local firefighters, and friends from Firefighters on a Mission.
“This van will give us back our ability to safely transport the boys to medical appointments, school activities, and out on adventures to explore other areas and places far from home,” said the Jahaira, the boys’ mom, “We are excited to fulfill our dreams of traveling as a family to Disney and to Washington D.C. to see the capital and other museums.”
Launched in 2017, Jett Giving Fund has helped transform the lives of countless families across the country with over $1 million worth of accessible equipment thanks to the generous support of individual donors and major sponsors including Cure Dale’s Duchenne and Sarepta Therapeutics.
To learn more about Jett Giving Fund or to help us help more families like the Garcias, please visit: www.jettfoundation.org/jett-giving-fund.