Young Man in Tucson Gains Independence with New Van

Anthony Planck is a 23-year-old young man from Tucson, Arizona. He loves his family and his pets. He also likes watching wrestling, movies and playing video games. Anthony was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy when he was three years old. His family says that Anthony has weathered the challenges that have accompanied this disease with a high level of courage and patience.

After a life-threatening hospital stay, the Plancks’ wheelchair-accessible van continued to break down, and the costs for repairs skyrocketed. The loss of the van–and the accompanying loss of autonomy and accessibility–has weighed heavily on both Anthony and his family. After several patchwork efforts to keep their van running–with support from friends and family–it was no longer operable or repairable.

Lack of proper transportation resulted in a forced dependence on state transportation services, which provided an inconsistent response. Anthony has been left at doctor appointments, waiting two and a half hours to be picked up, all the while growing increasingly anxious about his vent running out of power. Sometimes the vehicles didn’t show up at all, forcing him to miss vitally important appointments, and again, increasing his anxiety.

With nowhere else to turn, the Planck family decided to apply to the Jett Giving Fund. “We applied to the Jett Giving Fund in order to make his life easier and have a better quality of life. Being able to get out is going to be so amazing for us all!”

They applied to the Accessible Vehicle Fund, one out of two branches of our Jett Giving Fund program for families impacted by Duchenne in need of reliable, safe transportation. Anthony and his family raised over half the funds needed for the accessible van with help from generous local donors, family, and friends. When the family met their goal, Jett Foundation covered the remaining expenses to help the family purchase the van.

Anthony’s mom, Jamie, says a new van has already “made it so much easier for doctors appointments… not having to stress out about a ride not showing up and leaving us stranded, taking too long, or worrying about the vent running out of power.”

Jamie shared her words of advice: “Keep on trying and never give up! I never thought this would happen to us and I am forever grateful,” she says. She continued, “Amazing things can happen! We are stronger than ever and have lots of support!”

You can help us to support more families through the two branches of Jett Giving Fund. Donate today or learn more about becoming a sponsor by emailing info@jettfoundation.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.