My name is Luis Vazquez. I am 22-years-old, live in Miami, Florida, and have had Muscular Distrophy my whole life. Because of this condition, I have speech impairment and I am unable to walk, so I am bound to a wheelchair.
On March 5, 2010, I was evaluated by Dave Krieger, a certified driver rehabilitation specialist. A few weeks after the evaluation, he sent me some documents with a summary of the evaluation and all the recommended needs that apply to me so that I can drive. It is my desire to get a car and be able to drive myself around.
I am hoping to get a 2012 Chrysler Town and Country Limited Edition minivan, which will be able to accommodate my wheelchair plus all the technology needed for me to drive. The total cost of this vehicle is $35,000. This vehicle will be modified with high technology equipment in order to meet my driving needs. The modification is estimated to cost about $100,000, which will be paid for by Vocational Rahabilitation (VR). VR is a federal-state program that works with people who have physical or mental disabilities to prepare them to gain or retain employment. VR is committed to helping people with disabilities find meaningful careers. This means that I do not have to pay for the modification; I just need to purchase the vehicle. VR states that the vehicle must be either new or no older than one year.
This is very important to me because one of my greatest dreams is to be able to have my own vehicle and drive it. This will help me to become more independent in my daily activities. As of now, I depend on public Special Transportation Service (STS), which I mainly use to get to school. VR pays for my transportation services so that I am able to attend my college courses at Miami Dade College, where I have a 4.0 grade point average. I do not want to depend on public transportation for my entire life because I want to be as independent as possible.
The reason for this letter is that I need funds to purchase the vehicle because my parents cannot afford to help me purchase the vehicle due to their own financial difficulties. My father is the bread winner of the family. My mother cannot work because she stays home to take care of me and my sister, who is 30-years-old and also has Muscular Distrophy. This means that my mother is always at home because my sister and I depend on her help for almost everything we do. I do receive SSI benefits, but these just cover my personal needs. I am hoping to find as much funding for this minivan as possible so that I can move forward with more independence in my life. I have opened a bank account for vehicle funds. The bank name is Wells Fargo and the account number is 1010256859777. If you have any questions, feel free to reach me at 305 582-0491.
Thank you for your time and contribution.