ETX girl needs votes to win wheelchair accessible van
TYLER, TX (KLTV) - If you have 15 seconds of free time coming up you can help one East Texas family in a big way. The Milam family has entered an international contest to win a new wheelchair-accessible van to help get their immobile daughter around and your vote can help them win.
Megan Milam, 7, can use her electronic wheelchair at school, but because they can't take it anywhere without a special van, her mother said life has been very limited.
Megan Milam may not be able to talk, but she knows exactly what she wants to say.
"Cognitively, she knows exactly what she wants," Amy Milam, her mother, said. "She's just trapped inside a body that doesn't do what she tells it to."
Megan has cerebral palsy. She is wheelchair bound, but mentally, her mother said she has a normal IQ.
"She's incredible. She's very colorful. She's got a very loud spirit," she said.
That's why Amy is so determined to win a wheelchair accessible van through this contest. She said she realized how independent her daughter really was at a birthday party.
"She was really excited to be there, but it was kind of one of those moments where the kids were really excited and being kids and running around everywhere and she wanted to keep up," she explained.
When her mother tried to push her alongside her friends Megan said, "she was like, 'No mom, you know, I don't want you here with me.' She wanted to do it on her own," her mother remembered. "That was one of those moments, you know, as a mother, you're able to step back and say, 'Okay you go on,' but because she didn't have her power chair, and all we had was the stroller, she wasn't able to do that."
The Milam's rely on Medicaid to pay for Megan's medical needs, but have never been able to afford a van to take her wheelchair anywhere but school. Megan is so good at driving her electronic wheelchair that she spun around several times in the cafeteria at her elementary school. She likes to show off her twirls.
"The wheelchair-accessible van, those are things that can stop somebody from doing daily tasks and it's easy to overlook those things when it's not your challenge," her mother explained.
All it takes is fifteen seconds to create an account and cast your vote so that Megan can go exactly where she wants. The winner of this contest will be announced in May, which is National Mobility Awareness Month.