National Mobility Awareness Month Partners:
VMI

Anthony Bell

Indianapolis, IN

Entry Photo for Anthony Bell - Indianapolis, IN

Hello friends and strangers,
This is Tiernan Bell; he is an average fourteen-year-old boy. He’s been on the honor roll for a few years; he’s an avid YouTube watcher and loves all animals more than life. He was devastatingly diagnosed with Spinocerebellar Ataxia at the age of two. After tons of testing, they couldn’t pinpoint an exact match so they changed his diagnosis to Cerebral Palsy, it may sound odd but this was a relief. He wouldn’t get better but he wouldn’t get worse either. Fast forward a few years, add some decline to his physical condition and his diagnosis was changed again to an unnamed degenerative genetic dystonia. If trying to get a diagnosis and useful treatment wasn’t frustrating enough, watching our son go from actively walking and even running to having to use a wheelchair was heartbreaking but for his safety and even his happiness it was needed and we finally came to terms with it. When Tiernan received his new power wheelchair at school he was like a different kid. The world was accessible for him again, he was happier, more outgoing and engaged… at least at school. We don’t have a vehicle that can transport his chair so his new world is restricted. Even repairs to the new chair get delayed because we can’t just load up and take it in. He does have a small chair for home use but only his father can lift it. That in itself is an issue as his father works full time at the Sheriff’s Department and part time elsewhere to make up the difference. We are blessed in many ways and we thank the Lord for that daily but a van would bless us in a totally different way and it would help lessen some of the stressful load that rests on Tiernan’s dad’s shoulders. Your vote for our request wouldn’t be honoring one everyday hero, it would be honoring three! Tiernan for the strength and grace he displays daily regardless of his fatigue or pain, Tiernan’s dad for all he does on and off the job, and lastly… the power chair that was affectionately named “Sarge”, he really is a dream come true. Please help us make the dream of an accessible world come true too! Thank you for reading and voting, even if your vote is for one of the other extremely deserving families.
The Bells