My name is Michelle Trautner and I am 22 years old. I am born with a rare syndrome called Diastroph dysplasia. This means my bones didnt develop correctly and show some malformations. Therefore I am very small (only 1.20 meter) and bound to a wheelchair. I am able to walk a tiny bit, but because of my malformations I am walking on the very front of my foot. This makes it very hard to balance while walking and I am only able to do that with the help of my crutches. Luckily I am used to my wheelchair and able to do most things I want with it.
However, as all people my age, I do have dreams. And I need your help to fulfill my biggest dream. This dream is to become independent of the great people surrounding my! And to become independent I need a car. This car would allow me to go alone to my appointments in the hospital (now an uncle or aunt has to bring me), it would also allow me to visit my friends that live a bit further away (now I have to arrange days before that I will be able to enter a train with my wheelchair). And last but definitely not least I would allow me to visit my family in Germany. I lived in Germany till the age of 13. However, when my parents divorced I moved with my mam and brother to Belgium to live close to her family. Although I really enjoy living in Belgium and to spend time with my mam her family I do miss my grandparents and father in Germany, which I can now only visit once or twice a year.
SO CLEARLY A CAR IS MY BIGGEST WISH! Unfortunately my handicap didnt allow me to study after high school and because of my social security payment I am not allowed to work. Of course, as any other, I also want to be part of the society and therefore I perform voluntary work. Among others I work in a home for the elderly with demented people. This work I really like and it makes me feel part of the society, but unfortunately voluntary work doesnt enable me to save for a car.
My social security payment allows me to take care of myself, but because of my handicap I need to pay a lot more than most people (for instance fysiotherapy, wheelchair, handbike and catheters). So after I payed all these things there is nothing left for me to save for a car.
My mother is doing everything she can to offer me and my brother all she can (she got a fulltime job and some extra parttime jobs next to it), but still she needs every single cent to pay for our living and my extra health costs. So she can also not help me to save for a car.
Unfortunately it is impossible to me to buy a second hand car as most people my age do. Because of my handicap the car I buy will need a lot of adaptations, which are subjected to a lot of rules. These rules make it only possible to make these adaptations to a new car. Furthermore, although I am small myself, my car cannot be to small. This because space is needed to do all the adaptations, but also because I have to be able to take my wheelchair to be able to get out of the car when I get to the place I want. So this all together makes that I have to save a lot of money to get the car that I needed without even wanting extra luxuries.
I hope you can all help me to make my wish come true. A small amount of money that you will not even miss, can make a huge difference to me.
Thank you very much in advance!