KC family receives special gift to help care for child with rare disorders

Published: May. 24, 2023 at 10:45 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - A Kansas City family is receiving a very special gift to help in the care of their child, who has rare and serious disorders.

Eliana Lewis, 9, has SCN2A-related disorders. They impact the functions of her brain, so she relies on a wheelchair to get around.

“She is amazing,” her mother Michelle Lewis said. “She has a really great smile, great personality, and she’s just the light of our lives.”

Michelle said one of the extremely tough and expensive obstacles is traveling with Eliana from place to place in vehicles that aren’t designed for her needs.

“So, we have to get her out of the wheelchair, into a car seat that wasn’t necessarily secure for her,” she explained. “Then, break down a wheelchair and load it into our vehicles.”

When they reach their destination, the process has to be done all over again.

But now, that challenge is finally over.

After being nominated by an anonymous person, the new nonprofit organization enGAGE Mobility raised more than $50,000 to buy a new wheelchair-accessible van.

“Roll her in. Roll her out. Hook her up,” Michelle said. “It’s going to save us time and energy every day.”

A sound of joy is an emotion the Wingo family, who started the nonprofit, know all too well.

Years ago, they were the ones receiving a wheelchair-accessible van for their son Gage.

“It makes it so much easier to get around, be active in our community and do the things that you have to do, like trips to the doctor or pickups at school,” said Hannah Wingo, President of enGAGE Mobility. “That was so impactful that we wanted to pay it forward because we know a difference it can make.”

“Any way that we can help pay it forward, we are hoping to be able to do that, too,” Michelle said. “We’ll be eternally grateful to enGAGE Mobility.”

enGAGE Mobility is always seeking donations and nominations from families. They are hoping to raise enough money to help another family next year.