• Lauren Mitchell

Donations slow to a trickle for adapted van for 7-year-old Amanda


PHOTO BY LAUREN MITCHELL

Vaudreuil-Dorion residents Esmirna Lopez and Eric Cugurs are still hopeful a crowdfunding initiative will help raise money to purchase a specially adapted van to transport their daughter Amanda who is afflicted with Trisomy 18.

Despite having a strong start, a fundraising eff ort to purchase a specialized adapted van for a 7-year-old Vaudreuil-Dorion girl afflicted with Trisomy 18 has gone cold as Esmirna Lopes and Eric Cugurs, parents of Amanda, struggle to collect enough money to purchase the necessary $25,000 vehicle.

“Donations have dropped. We have tried Facebook ads where thousands were reached and received many “likes” regarding our campaign, but no one has been donating,” said Lopes. “We are trying many different avenues to get the word out about our story but it appears there’s little interest.”

When leaving their home, Amanda needs very specific items to travel in order to ensure her safety. Instead of the small car seat that she has since outgrown, a custom made stroller was created for her to be specifically attached in an adapted van. An oxygen concentrator has to accompany her everywhere she goes, followed by her pump for feeding, and a baby bag supplied with diapers, food, and clothes. The last thing to be brought is Amanda herself, whom her parents must carry from the house to her van while carrying the concentrator at the same time.

“We appreciate all the nice comments and moral support but hope that there will be those that will be able to help financially,” said the family. “We are living in a society that we know is touched by situations like ours and we know that we will eventually get more support from our community.”

Although the fundraising has gone slower than expected, 29 individuals over the past month have generously donated a total of $1,890 to the cause. The donation, no matter how small or large, always makes an impact and helps get them one step closer.

“For those who have donated we would like to express our heartfelt gratitude for their support,” said Cugurs and Lopes. “We even were able to make contact with other families in the area who are in a similar situation regarding the caring for a special needs child.” To donate money for Amanda’s adapted van, visit their fundraising page at http://www.gofundme.com/ nto2o0. Check out Your Local Journal’s Facebook page over the next few days to see video of the challenges currently faced by the family.

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