Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Darrell Gwynn Foundation Set to Donate Custom Wheelchairs Collectively Valued at $67,000 to Three Indiana Children
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The Darrell Gwynn Foundation will donate three custom wheelchairs collectively valued at $67,000 to three Indiana children at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals on Friday, August 31 at 6:45 p.m. at the Lucas Oil Raceway. The Darrell Gwynn Foundation’s mission is to provide SUPPORT for people with paralysis and PREVENT spinal cord injuries.
Three Indiana children, all under the age of nine years old, Zailey Andrade (Mooresville, Ind.), Benjamin Bang (Fishers, Ind.) and Eli Dilts (Bloomington, Ind.) will receive the gift of mobility, independence and freedom from the Darrell Gwynn Foundation (DGF) and its donors. The wheelchair donations are being made through the Darrell Gwynn Foundation’s national Wheelchair Donation Program, which provides custom power wheelchairs to individuals facing medical and financial hardships that have exhausted all other means of obtaining a power wheelchair that was recommended by their physician.
Darrell Gwynn, president of DGF, won the 1989 U.S. Nationals in the Coors Extra Gold Top Fuel Dragster. A racing accident ended his brilliant career in 1990 when he sustained a spinal cord injury. In 2002, he and his wife Lisa founded the Darrell Gwynn Foundation and in 2011 he returned to the U.S. Nationals driving a custom built electric dragster defeating “Big Daddy” Don Garlits in a special “Garlits vs. Gwynn: Match Races for a Cause” charity racing series. Gwynn will return to a place that is very special to him and his family and be on hand for the wheelchair donations.
“We get to change, not one, but three children’s lives forever by giving them the gift of mobility,” said Gwynn. “It’s a testament to our donors and supporters that we are able to make this impact in Indiana. I can remember winning some big races at the U.S. Nationals during my career. These days I get the same great feeling every time we donate a wheelchair as I got when I won a race. It’s going to be a beautiful day.”
During the wheelchair donation ceremony, the Darrell Gwynn Foundation will make a highly anticipated announcement about the Kenny Bernstein Racing Collection to race fans. The memorabilia collection was donated to DGF last spring. DGF will also make other announcements about exciting new ways race fans can support and interact with the foundation.
“This is going to be a real treat for race fans,” said Gwynn. “We can’t wait to deliver the news they’ve been waiting for and to surprise them with a new way to stay connected with DGF and easily share in our mission.”
Zailey Andrade, a three year-old from Mooresville, Ind. will receive a $36,000 pink princess themed power wheelchair on behalf of DGF and its donors. Zailey is diagnosed with arthogryposis. Her condition leaves her unable to propel herself in a manual wheelchair. The custom wheelchair being donated will be controlled by a chin joystick. The State of Indiana Medicaid will not approve a power wheelchair to children as young as Zailey. Her medical bills and travel to see a specialist at Shriner’s Hospital in Philadelphia have caused financial hardships for her family. The new power wheelchair will not only give her the gift of mobility, but allow her to enroll in pre-school and play with her friends.
Benjamin Bang, a six year-old from Fisher, Ind., will receive a $22,000 Dodge Challenger themed custom power wheelchair from DGF, on behalf of its donors. He is diagnosed with disorder of mitochondrial metabolism, cerebral folate deficiency and autism. His medical care needs force him to be homeschooled, but with no power wheelchair he doesn’t have the freedom to leave the house or play with friends. The new power wheelchair will give Benjamin the opportunity to simply “be a kid”.
Eli Dilts, a nine year-old from Bloomington, Ind. will receive a $9,000 Indianapolis Colts themed custom manual wheelchair from DGF, on behalf of its donors. Eli is diagnosed with medullablastoma and posterior fossa syndrome, a rare side effect caused by the removal of a brain tumor in 2010. Eli is a huge sports fan and loves his Colts. Currently, he gets pushed around in a large stroller which is not ideal for his age. The new wheelchair will give him more independence and allow him to keep up with his friends at school.
The wheelchair donations will take place on the starting line at the Lucas Oil Raceway at 6:45 p.m. Media interested in attending should contact Ryan Rogers at (754) 224-6139 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Give the Gift of Mobility: https://darrellgwynnfoundation.org/the-gift-of-mobility.php