Thanks to hard work on her part and generous donations and support from the community, Chatham’s Ebony Vandenbogaerde should be back in town before Christmas.
Now all she needs is a place that is wheelchair accessible for her and mom, Maria, to live.
In a phone interview, Maria said the equipment Ebony needs, such as a motorized wheelchair, a lift and a bed have all been purchased thanks to the Mocha Cruisers Shrine Club and funds from the GoFundMe page set up for Ebony by Lisa Lester at All That Jazz.
On the waiting list for affordable housing in Chatham-Kent, Maria said she will also be filling out an application for Habitat for Humanity housing, and is actively searching for a landlord with an apartment that has two bedrooms on the main floor who will allow her to put a ramp in for Ebony’s wheelchair.
“The Salvation Army helped me to get us on the list for housing, and Big Brothers Big Sisters is giving us $500 for slider boards so Ebony can get in and out of the van into her chair,” Maria said. “We are still looking for housing, though. When Ebony gets back home, she’ll be going back to St. Joe’s to finish her year so she can go to high school. We were also able to find physiotherapy in Chatham for children with incomplete spinal injuries so we won’t have to make that drive to London three times a week.”
Ebony’s family is incredibly touched by the support they have been given by the community, including a recent spaghetti dinner organized by Renee Kuipers of Graceful Beauty Medical Spa that raised close to $1,300 for the family.
Maria said she will be getting Ebony loose-fitting clothing that she can wear comfortably and dress herself with, as she has been taught at the rehab hospital in Toronto. Now if she can just find a suitable place to live that accommodates Ebony’s wheelchair, Maria said she will be able to sleep at night again.
She asks that any landlords or homeowners who may have a housing solution for them, in the Chatham area so they can be close to family support, give Maria a call at 226-626-2054.