That vehicle is starting to break down, and Justin Robar and his mother Roxanne Adams were finding tasks like getting groceries or going to doctor’s appointments much more of a struggle.
Thankfully, that’s not a reality they’ll have to face much longer after receiving a $20,000 grant through the President’s Choice Children’s Charity.
“I think it’s amazing,” Adams said after a presentation in Atlantic Superstore last week.
Robar, a 17-year-old who attends North Nova Education Centre, lives with spina bifida, a birth defect affecting the spine that paralyzed Robar from the waist down.
Adams said before they received their first van – also from Superstore – things like going to school, going for a drive or going to the grocery store required planning.
“You always felt you were dependent on somebody else where this is just like anybody else.”
Robar said it was pretty difficult before they had the first van.
“We were walking everywhere,” Robar said, with Adams noting that in the winter, they’d often go so far only to find the rest of the sidewalk hadn’t been plowed yet and need to turn back.
Lately, they’ve had to face those difficulties again.
“He’s missing his freedom again.”
Being a single mother, she said she would never be able to afford a new vehicle, and this money will allow them to either purchase a secondhand vehicle that already has a lift or a newer vehicle that will allow them to use the lift from their previous van.
“Pictou County’s been amazing for me and Justin, very blessed, very much so. They just… always come together and seem to help.”
Robar has been in the news before after his bedroom was transformed into a tribute for his favourite team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, through the Sunshine Foundation and Home Hardware.
This was the second time in a week that Superstore donated funds to a family in Pictou County in need of a wheelchair accessible van.
Store manager Tony Weatherby said it’s a delight to be able to help people.
He also noted that they want to make sure people in the area are aware that this charity is available to them if they need it.
“We just want to get it out there so families will go online and investigate it, look at it and hopefully apply.”
Last year, the charity granted nearly $800,000 in funds in Nova Scotia to 111 families and 89 nutrition programs – raised through donations from customers and payroll deductions.
On Twitter: @NGNewsAmanda