Fritz Family

Fundraising for an Accessible Van

Meet brothers Jake and Ryan Fritz! Jake (18) and Ryan (15) live with their parents, Lauren and John, two cats, Mac and Millie, service dog, Saki and spiny-tailed lizard, Draco. “Our family learned when Jake was five and Ryan was almost two that our boys had Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a progressive and degenerative muscle disease with no cure that would require massive changes to the way we lived life,” says their mom, Lauren.

Lauren says, “Our family works hard, trying our best to stay warm-hearted in meeting our challenges while feeling genuinely touched by those we encounter on this path.” Both Jake and Ryan have participated in clinical trials in Baltimore with hopes of advancing research toward a meaningful cure for Duchenne. “Jake’s trial lasted for five years. Ryan’s trial was discontinued after two years. The trial that Jake was in was recently approved by the FDA, allowing for him and others to now receive this drug through insurance, helping slow the progression of this insidious disease,” added Lauren.

Jake uses a power wheelchair full-time and currently attends community college virtually from home. He needs help with many physical daily needs, and his mom has moved her virtual therapy practice to their home so that she can help him with getting dressed, eating meals, brushing his teeth, transferring, and more. Ryan stopped being able to walk permanently this past fall. He now also uses a power wheelchair full time and attends 9th grade at the local high school. Ryan and his mom regularly get hurt when she tries to lift him into their current vehicle manually, since they cannot bring his power chair into it.

Lauren says, “Our challenge is that we now need a van that will work for two power wheelchairs, for two young men that very much want to do the things in life that most of us take for granted. An accessible van would allow for both boys to have power chairs in the same van without anyone getting hurt.”

The Fritz family decided to apply to Jett Foundation’s Accessible Vehicle Fund in hopes of obtaining safe, reliable transportation for both of their sons with Duchenne. The Accessible Vehicle Fund is one of two branches of support offered through the Jett Giving Fund; Jett Foundation seeks to partner with families impacted by Duchenne to raise the necessary funds to obtain this essential and vital item.

A safe, accessible van would allow them to do many more important things, such as going to the necessary and ongoing medical appointments both boys need. It would allow the family to go to a relative’s home on a holiday and for Ryan to get to the beach and see the ocean. It would allow for Jake to have the possibility of taking a course in a classroom with other college kids around him.

Thanks to the support and generosity of the community, the Fritz family has met their goal and will be getting their accessible vehicle soon! To help support more families like them, please consider a gift to Jett Foundation at

About Jett Giving Fund’s Accessible Vehicle Fund

Jett Giving Fund is Jett Foundation’s financial assistance program for families impacted by Duchenne muscular dystrophy who are in need of accessible vehicles or emergency support. As part of the Accessible Vehicle Fund, families fundraise half the funds needed or more for an accessible vehicle, and Jett Foundation covers the remaining costs once they reach their goal. 

If other resources have already been used to meet a specific need, if there is no longer a specific need, and/or if donations have been received in excess of a specific need, donations made in furtherance of a specific need will be applied for general purposes of the Jett Giving Fund. If the Jett Giving Fund no longer exists, all donations will be applied to further the general charitable mission of Jett Foundation.

How is the rare disease community accomplishing goals?

Tune in on February 29 to hear from our panel and moderators on how they are accomplishing goals and living life to the fullest!

Your gift helps Jett Foundation provide programming and opportunities, such as Camp Promise, to many families impacted by Duchenne muscular dystrophy each year.

Accessible Vehicle Fund Applications Open