Local organizations gift Chattanooga family handicap accessible van
A Chattanooga family got a huge surprise this weekend, and it all came together thanks to teamwork from a group of local organizations.
Grocery runs, doctors appointments, meals out; the little things that happen every day for every family. But Misti Bray says for her crew, there's an added hitch.
"Up until this point we've had to lift him up out of his wheelchair and lift the wheelchair into the van,” she said. “Lane weighs 55 pounds and the wheelchair weighs about 70 so it's very difficult to go anywhere."
Lane has cerebral palsy and his wheelchair can be hard to move. The Brays needed a solution.
That's where Mark McClain of Christian Brothers Automotive comes in.
“Christian Brothers Automotive has a foundation in our community where we reach out and help families in our community,” McClain says.
McClain met the Brays through Shannon York of Siskin Children's Institute. Lane was in a program there for years, so when McClain asked York how he could help Siskin families, the Brays were a perfect fit.
“He asked me if there was anything he could do for families at Siskin Children's Institute,” York told Channel 3. “That's when we decided to introduce him to the Bray family.”
The goal was simple. Get the Brays a new, handicap accessible van.
And through the incredible teamwork of Siskin, Christian Brothers Automotive and another organization, Steps2Hope, they made it happen.
“The main thing is about their son Lane and making sure he can get to the doctor, and they can get to all of the things they need to and spend time as a family,” McClain said.
For Misti Bray, Lane is the focus too.
“He's truly the strongest kid ever,” she said. “He's a very special child.”
Now, with a new van in tow, at least a little of that focus can shift to the next family outing ahead.
In addition to the van, the groups also surprised the Brays with a trip to Gatlinburg to visit Dollywood.