BraunAbility Gifts SMA Family With a Wheelchair Van
Donation will help Fynlee Armstrong have same opportunity as other children
BraunAbility has partnered with the nonprofit organization Laughing at My Nightmare (LAMN) to donate a wheelchair-accessible vehicle to a 6-year-old girl with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).
Fynlee Armstrong, a “sassy and spunky little girl” from Clyde, Texas, requires a wheelchair to move around. Over the last few years, however, as she’s gotten bigger, it became increasingly difficult for parents Jaysa and Justin Armstrong to lift her and her wheelchair.
As part of its collaboration with LAMN, BraunAbility sought to recognize its 50th anniversary as a manufacturer of mobility transportation solutions by awarding a muscular dystrophy patient or family with a specially equipped vehicle.
SMA is characterized by progressive muscle weakness and atrophy, chiefly affecting motor function.
“This van will completely change our entire family’s mindset. It will bring peace of mind,” said Jaysa Armstrong in a press release. “Now we can think about what we can do instead of what we can’t, all because we now have an accessible vehicle.”
Built on the Pacifica Voyager architecture, the BraunAbility CompanionVan features a manual ramp and partially lowered floor to make it easier to maneuver and secure a wheelchair passenger.
LAMN announced the donation last September and the winning family was chosen in November. The Armstrongs received the new vehicle over the holidays. Since its founding nearly a decade ago, LAMN has provided nearly $1 million in adaptive and medical equipment to patients and families.
This van will completely change our entire family’s mindset. It will bring peace of mind. Now we can think about what we can do instead of what we can’t, all because we now have an accessible vehicle.
The founders of both BraunAbility and LAMN were diagnosed with SMA at a young age and have fought for inclusion in everyday society.
The idea behind the Armstrong gift was to help Fynlee have the same opportunities as other children.
“When our founder, Ralph Braun, was a young man in the 1940s, he faced significant odds,” said Megan Wegner, BraunAbility senior brand manager. “Only he and his family believed he’d become a contributing member of the community someday. Ralph literally engineered his own independence, and in doing so, he gave people with mobility challenges the ability to be seen, to be included in society.”
“We can’t wait to see how this BraunAbility wheelchair van enhances this family’s life, and we hope it allows Fynlee to explore the world and participate fully with her peers,” said Shane Burcaw, LAMN founder. “Many disabled people do not have access to the equipment they need to thrive. Living with a disability myself, I know how frustrating it can be when needs go unmet. We created this organization to fill those gaps for as many people as possible.”