August 26, 2014 3:00 pm
Updated: August 26, 2014 5:12 pm

Young boy gets new wheelchair van after $66K crowdfunding campaign

HALIFAX – A seven-year-old Halifax boy and his family picked up a brand new accessible van Tuesday after a crowdfunding campaign raised more than $66,000 to help them out.

Van Bernard, who has Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type II, uses a wheelchair and needs the specialized van to get around.

His parents turned to an internet campaign after they exhausted all their other options for funding.

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It was a huge success, collecting donations from all around the world — enough to cover the cost of the vehicle and help pay for a new motorized wheelchair worth more than $23,000.

Van said he’s excited for the new van so his parents won’t have to lift him in and out of their old van — last winter, his mother Julie almost dropped him.

“It’s just a dream come true, so everybody out there, thank you so much for raising this much money,” Van said.

Van’s father Colin said it was past time to get a new wheelchair because Van has outgrown the one he uses now.

“Once we get the new one, it will probably be going to the IWK so that somebody else can use it,” he said.

Julie thanked everybody who donated to the “Van 4 Van” campaign.

“For our family, it means safety and security for my son, for my daughter,” she said. “It’s a sense of independence for Van and it’s an amazing experience.”

© Shaw Media, 2014

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