Online votes sought for wheelchair accessible vehicle

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Gina Duwe
Friday, April 5, 2013

— For 3-year-old Landon Wilson, a trip to the doctor is quite the process.

It's a 75-mile ride to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, where Landon has more than 10 specialists treating him for issues related to Cornelia De Lange Syndrome, which he was diagnosed with shortly after birth.

But getting to the hospital means being carried out of his wheelchair and into a car seat while managing his feeding pump, oxygen tank, suction machine and an assortment of other equipment and supplies, said his mother, Crystal Wilson.

Transporting Landon has become more difficult as he gets older, she said.

"That's the hard thing right now," she said. "You don't get to go to too many places because it's just so hard."

She's hoping people will help her family by voting online in a contest for a wheelchair-accessible van—something she said Landon really needs, but is impossible for her to afford.

"It would make his life a lot better," she said.

The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association is awarding three "deserving local heroes" with wheelchair-accessible vehicles in celebration of National Mobility Awareness Month. Online voting runs through May 10, when a panel of judges will determine the winners from the top 5 percent of vote getters.

Landon already has had open-heart surgery, six nasal surgeries, a ventriculoperitoneal shunt to help with fluid in his brain, a tracheostomy and oxygen for breathing difficulties and a feeding tube for nutrition. He also has been hospitalized numerous times for infections because of his poor immune system.

Landon is comfortable in his wheelchair and is still "a happy little boy," his mother wrote on the contest entry.

"I love my little boy so much and this truly would be a dream come true if you pick my little hero," she wrote.

Last updated: 10:28 am Tuesday, July 2, 2013

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