Former Wisconsin resident is hoping to win new handicapped-accessible van

CREATED May 6, 2013

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RICE LAKE - A former resident of Wisconsin is hoping for some help. Shannon Thomas has been disabled since childhood, and can no longer get around because of the condition of her current handicapped-accessible van.

Thomas grew up in Rice Lake, Wis. and is currently a resident of Portland, Ore. She is hoping for votes to help her win a new van from National Disability Awareness Month.

You can find more about her cause here.

You can vote for Shannon here.

"I was living in rural Wisconsin when the accident happened and I became paralyzed," Thomas writes. "It happened about a week before I was supposed to start the 3rd grade. When the doctors in the small town realized how seriously injured I was, they put me on a hard wooden board and drove me in an ambulance to a children's hospital in Minnesota a couple hours away.

"I spent over a month in the children's hospital. All my classmates were very kind and caring, even after seeing me in my big clunky wheelchair, wearing my awful body brace, trying to adjust to my new and even more awkward than normal body.

"Due to my dad getting a job transfer, I moved away from that community when I was a freshman in high school. Over the years I lost touch with all my classmates, until the magic of FB got me back in contact with some of them. Yesterday I found out that my grade school BFF posted about this contest, and now there is a large group of them voting for me everyday, and getting their friends and family to vote as well.

"I am so touched by this. I wish I had the words to express how much this means to me."