A 17 year old Hanover girl now has the funds she needs to purchase a new power wheel chair.
A weekend BBQ coupled by private donations has made the purchase possible.
Thanks to the generosity of the community, Natalie McDonald is getting a new set of wheels with all the bells and whistles required to allow her to live an independent life in college.
The new power wheel chair is 7 thousand dollars more than what the government will cover, this is because the newer model allows McDonald to go up and down and is equipped with headlights, blinkers and snow tires.
McDonald is overwhelmed by the generosity of the community. Support has been so great that she has slightly exceeded her 7 thousand dollar fundraising goal.
26 hundred dollars is coming from the Lions Club BBQ, 3 thousand dollars from the Janice Bye Memorial Fund and the rest through private donations.
The excess money will not be wasted as McDonald faces thousands of dollars in additional personal costs to properly equip and furnish her college dorm to meet her specialized needs.
She requires a hospital bed, as well as a specialized mattress and a commode.
Her family is also replacing the van that transports McDonald to and from appointments.
The new van will require about 25 thousand dollars in modifications to accommodate her power wheel chair.
McDonald jokes that having this new independence as a college student is going to cost a ‘pretty penny’.
She says there are just so many costs associated with her condition that are not covered by health care.
As such, an RBC account has been set up in McDonald’s name for anyone wishing to donate.
McDonald is no stranger to fundraising efforts as she herself has raised tens of thousands of dollars for others.
Over the years McDonald has spearheaded a number of fundraising campaigns raising over 50 thousand dollars for various charities including Easter Seals and the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Society.
The former Easter Seals Ambassador is a strong advocate for those with disabilities.
She says it is her passion to help others and she is now so overwhelmed and touched by the outpouring of support she is receiving from others in her time of need.
McDonald is heading to Humber College in the Fall to study behavioural science.