Working woman with MS needs transportation advice: Marlene.Kenady@TTU.edu & 806-834-5265

Please e-share your advice directly with my admired friend, 5-yr. TTU Staff Senator Marlene Kenady:  Marlene.Kenady@TTU.edu & 806-834-5265 &/or e-forward to others who may be able to help.  I’ve highlighted the main points, below.  Thank you for being a friend in deed!

from Marlene:  … I am trying to find assistance for a problem I have.  …

You may recall that I have Multiple Sclerosis.  I am now on a scooter and was earlier considering going on Disability Retirement but, after inquiring, that would not be feasible from a financial aspect AND I am not ready to stop using my mind and skills.  I am, however, facing a major obstacle in transportation.  My son was promoted to the truck lead in produce at the new Market Street but it is on a 2nd/3rd shift.  Since we only have one vehicle and I cannot drive it, he has had a poor sleep pattern for some time now which is taking its toll since he has to take and pick me up from work and appointments.

My solution was to once again turn to DARS (Dept of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services) for help, but they will only modify a van for hand control driving – not purchase a vehicle.  My Mom then planned to give me her van and purchase a new vehicle for herself, which she did.  DARS paid for me to be evaluated for the ability to drive with hand controls which I passed. Then they paid to have my Mom’s van to be mechanically evaluated, knowing the year, make and mileage, and it passed. But the man from the company here in town (Open Road Mobility) who would send it off to be modified came to her house to meet with us and immediately informed us the van was too old and had too many miles even though my Mom’s van was in pristine condition. A van must be no older than 5 yrs and have fewer than 30,000 miles.

So I’m back to square 1.  I have looked at websites of the NMSS (Natl Multiple Sclerosis Society) and the MSAA (Multiple Sclerosis Society of America) as they used to have programs and found nothing. I feel that 1) their programs were probably federally funded and that funding is probably gone and 2) their programs were probably similar in that they would pay to modify but not purchase.

I did find a website for free charity cars where I load my story and people who get enough votes are given a free car, but I can’t seem to complete the ‘application’ for unknown reasons and don’t know if I would be guaranteed the kind of vehicle I would require.

My Mom shows no interest in purchasing a vehicle for me even if she is able to sell the new vehicle she purchased in anticipation of giving me her old van (which she is driving again).  My credit is bad and I would not be approved for a loan on a vehicle.

Do you have any ideas?  As for a vehicle, I am currently looking at a Ford Transit which I’ve confirmed as modifiable by Sheldon Staggs, my contact at Open Road Mobility. For a new vehicle, it’s base cost is at a low end of $20-$25K.

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