In June of 2011, Jack and Betsy Kerns of Rock Hill, S.C. met with E.J. Dulina, a senior mobility consultant at Carolina Mobility Sales in Charlotte, N.C. The Kerns were in need of a wheelchair accessible van for their son John Ross. John Ross is in a wheelchair due to Cerebral Palsy; and, as he’s grown, transporting him to school, doctor visits and therapy has become more and more difficult, especially for his mom, Betsy.
Betsy suffers from chronic back pain. No doubt, lifting and positioning her son in and out of their non-mobility vehicle on a daily basis was further stressing her back. So, the Kerns visited Carolina Mobility Sales in hopes of a solution. After a thorough assessment by Dulina it was clear the Kerns were in desperate need of a wheelchair accessible vehicle for the safe and comfortable transportation of John Ross.
The Kerns were so appreciative of the care given to them by Dulina as he shared an understanding of the sacrifices the Kerns family has made due to lack of a proper vehicle. Dulina himself has a son, Ryan, who is a wheelchair user.
“When we met with E.J. (Dulina), I knew I had met a consultant who cared. He was well trained and he had experience. He was concerned for John Ross and his needs, but he also understood that we as a family wanted to travel together. E.J. vowed to help us solve our mobility needs, and he did!”
The Kerns and Dulina kept in touch weekly as Betsy and Dulina explored every possible way to reach a vehicle solution. Together they searched and applied for assistance grants, loans and state programs and were denied several times. And then, one day Dulina got an email from The National Organization for Vehicle Accessibility offering up to $5000 for any qualifying family. Dulina called Betsy with the news and they applied for the grant.
Grant awards were announced on December 16th and on Christmas Eve, everything came together. The Kerns family drove off in their 2011 Chrysler Town & Country Braun Entervan. Perhaps, they crossed paths with Santa… who knows? We do know that we were only too happy to participate in the great Christmas story.