• Lauren Mitchell

Adapted van donated to family for daughter with Trisomy 18


PHOTO BY LAUREN MITCHELL

Following a story and video made by Your Local Journal, a kindhearted West Island resident has donated an adapted van to the family of Amanda Cugurs, making her excursions significantly easier.

A fundraiser with the goal of $25,000 to buy an adapted van for 7-year-old Amanda Cugurs has recently been achieved in an unexpected way after a West Island woman decide to donate a used adapted van after the owner passed away, saying it was what he would’ve wanted. “We received a call from the sister of the late Doug Webb of Pointe Claire,” said Amanda’s parents, Eric Cugurs and Esmirna Lopes.

“His sister Donna said that Doug passed away recently and he was the owner of this adapted 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan. It was Doug’s wish that the van be given to an organization that would find someone in need of it. Doug’s sister, Donna, Googled us and after reading more stories about us, gave us a call one evening. She said that after reading about our fundraising, her family decide that they would like to donate the van to us. We did the transfer a week later and now we have the van we need.”

The family had been using an online fundraising website in order to collect funds for the past two months, and have been reaching out to the public by broadcasting their story through different news outlets, including a story and video made by Your Local Journal. They raised $2,115 out of the $25,000 goal, in which they say will be used to repair the used van. “I contacted our local Chrysler dealer, Excellence Dodge Chrysler of Vaudreuil, and asked if they would offer a free vehicle inspection. The service manager wrote back and agreed to do this for us. It would be their pleasure. As it turned out, the van needed some repairs. The service manager, Mr. Robert Morin, gave me the news and at the same time presented an offer to share the cost of the repairs 50/50.”

The family is very grateful for the generous donation, as they had previously purchased a customized wheelchair that was specifically intended for an adapted van. The couple says that the new vehicle will make the transportation process of Amanda much easier and are looking forward to using it.

The process of getting Amanda into the car will not be as long, as they can avoid having to lift Amanda out of the wheelchair, put her into the car seat, and have to disassemble the wheelchair. The adapted van allows for them to put her in the car whilst still sitting in the wheelchair.

“As a family we feel very blessed in regards to the kindness of the late Doug Webb and his family,” said Cugurs and Lopes. “We also are very thankful to the Chrysler dealership for offering us this much needed discount on the repairs that were needed.”

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