Organized by: Brittany McWilliams
Taylor was born with a severe case of Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. Through the years she has endured a multitude of medical procedures, tests, surgeries, and appointment...honestly, we can't even begin to come up with a number. Within the last couple of years she has also been diagnosed with Epilepsy and migraines. Even with all these challenges, there is rarely a day that Taylor doesn't have a HUGE smile on her face and want a hug. She is a ray of sunshine in any room. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't look at her in amazement and smile that God brought her into our lives; however, there is rarely a day I don't I feel like we let her down because we can't offer her the independence she deserves.
Since Taylor came into our homes when she was 15 months old we have always tried to help her realize that she is more than capable of doing ANYTHING she wants to even though she is confined to a wheelchair. However, as she gets older (and bigger) we find this more and more difficult...because some things just aren't feasible without significant modifications that cost a significant amount of money. Some of the things we are hoping to fund for her to grow her independence are a bathroom modification, vehicle modification, wheelchair mobility attachment, and a service dog.
Unfortunately, since there isn't a bathroom in our home that is accessible, Taylor must currently park her chair outside the doorway and have us transfer her to the bathroom floor to take care of her needs. When it is bath time, we must lift her into the tub and then out again which is quite a strain on our backs as well. As she continues to grow, this task only gets more and more difficult. Taylor is getting to the age that she is trying to really spread her wings and grow her independence and do things for herself. Unfortunately, she isn't even able to wash her own hands because we don't have a sink she can roll up to and reach. To make our current bathroom accessible for Taylor (widen the doorway, modify the sink area to allow her to roll under it, remove the tub and install a roll-in shower system), it will cost approximately $20,000.
We face similar struggles every time we need to take Taylor somewhere in the car. We currently have a van that provides plenty of room. However, we must currently pick Taylor up, load her into the car and then load the wheelchair in the back of the car. Then we must do the whole thing in reverse whenever we get to the location. Again, this is quite a toll on us all...her size is making it more difficult to lift her easily in the car without some sort of struggle, so there are several times she has gotten caught up in awkward positions which takes more effort to fix as well and are painful for her. Our hope is to add a ramp to the van to allow her to roll directly into the car on her own to reduce the struggle and time it takes to load (which will be quite helpful when it is raining). The modifications to the van will cost approximately $22,000.
Being in her chair obviously makes many daily activities a struggle. With Taylor's lengthening rods running the entire span of her back, her mobility is affected even more. Providing her with a service dog would allow her more freedom to complete many daily activities she currently struggles with by providing additional balance / stability, picking up items from places she cannot reach, opening doors, turning on lights, etc. Since these dogs are so specially trained, they cost around $10,000.
One of the things that breaks my heart more than anything occurs many times on the most beautiful days. All the children in the neighborhood are out and about running to and fro enjoying the amazing weather and each other. Unfortunately, on days like this there are many times I see Taylor sitting alone in our driveway only being able to watch the other kids because she can't keep up. If we were able to purchase a wheelchair mobility attachment, we could provide her with the capability of keeping up with the other children and play like a 'normal' child. The particular item we found costs $2,000.
While we understand this is a HUGE request on our part, we truly feel at a loss on any other option, yet we are continuously trying to find alternative options as well throughout this process. We have tried to figure out how to fund these items ourselves, but it is clearly a LARGE amount of money to come up with for an average family with the average expenses in additional to Taylor's routine medical expenses we must face as well. We truly believe that it takes a village to raise a child and in the blessings of God...otherwise, we would not have made it as far as we have already. Please consider helping to provide this little girl who shines so bright the independence EVERY child deserves.
Any additional funds raised will be put towards any fees from this website, taxes, and future medical needs for Taylor.