National Mobility Awareness Month Partners:

Michelle Coffey-Garcia

Naples, FL

Entry Photo for Michelle Coffey-Garcia - Naples, FL

My sweet little princess, Samantha Marie, has Cerebral Palsy but the diagnosis doesn’t have her. We attempt to do as much as we can to give Sami a great life. With every adventure I come up with I think and think…how can Sami be involved? How many stops with this adventure entail? How many times do we need to take her in and out of the SUV?

Sami is currently 10 years old and she has inspired our family to raise awareness about Cerebral Palsy and make changes so that more children and adults with CP can have a great quality of life. Sami is the inspiration behind Samantha’s Purpose (a/k/a Voices for Cerebral Palsy) a non-profit organization that I run, with the help of my husband – her Daddy – and a great group of friends and fellow CP parents. We normally are giving the help and rarely ask for any help.

In fact, I have never nominated myself for anything. I prefer to stay in the shadows. However, my husband and I have gotten to a point that we physically can not continue to lift Samantha in and out of my SUV, or any car. She is already weighing 105 lbs. and growing fast. We also can not continue to put together, take apart and lift her wheelchair into the SUV over and over. We will never stop, but our bodies are not cooperating.

The other big issue that must be confronted is the fact that the new wheelchair Sami needs to address her needs will not fold up or come apart anymore. That means we are being forced to purchase a wheelchair accessible van. So, here we are asking that you please consider me, Samantha and our family when casting a vote or picking the recipient for this wheelchair accessible vehicle.