Tanner Gets His Van
Tanner Adkins has some very special needs
Diagnosed at birth with:
- Cerebral Palsy
- Hydrocephalus (water on the brain)
- Septo-optic Dysplasia (optic nerves don’t develop properly)
- Chromosome 15 duplication (genetic – causes malformation & mental retardation)
- He’s not interested in food and eats very little. So he has a feeding tube with a port on his stomach for overnight feeding.
- He can’t walk, stand, sit, crawl, or roll over on his own. His ability to move independently is equivalent to that of a 5 month old.
- Tanner just started speaking a few months ago, at age 5. It will take a lot of time with his speech therapist before he’s easily understood by anyone (other than his mother).
- He’s a happy and smart little boy with a good memory. His body just doesn’t cooperate, which frustrates him.
- There is a tube inside Tanner’s skull to drain the fluid that accumulates on his brain. The tube goes down inside his body and attaches to his bladder for expelling the fluid.
- Besides medical appointments, he has several therapy appointments each week. Water therapy is his favorite.
Through Medicaid, Tanner has a power wheelchair which he calls “his car” and he loves it. His learning curve to operate it resulted in significant damage to furniture, walls, doors and toes. (They rent a mobile home that has a very narrow hallway). But he can do a 3-point turn in his “car” better than a lot of automobile drivers.
The problem is that the power wheelchair weighs 300 pounds and can’t be transported without a vehicle with a wheelchair lift. The family doesn’t own a vehicle of any kind right now. Tanner’s mom, Barbara, borrows a vehicle to get to work and to Tanner’s appointments now.
Barbara is very stressed and often doesn’t take the time to eat. She is 5’5 and weighs less than 100 lbs. She also has arthritis in her back plus bone spurs and a lack of blood flow to her knees. All that makes lifting Tanner in and out of a car and his wheelchair extremely painful. But a mother does whatever it takes for her children. She finds her strength in the Lord.
That’s why All Things Possible is planning fundraising events to be able to purchase a van with a wheelchair lift. Even an 8 – 10 year old mini-van with the necessary conversion done is listed in the $25,000 – $30,000 price range.
Learn About the Family
His mom, Barbara, is a single mother to Tanner and his 12 year old (adopted) brother Caleb. They live in rural York, SC in a rented mobile home that needs a lot of work. Their driveway is gravel, which has torn up the wheels on Tanner’s power chair pretty badly. Navigating the narrow hallway inside has torn up the walls pretty badly too.
Barbara would love to be considered for a Habitat for Humanity home that is wheelchair friendly for Tanner. She has recently started looking into that application process.
Barbara was a PRN, which is an “on-call” nurse, at Piedmont Medical Center Hospital in Rock Hill for 15+ years. Unfortunately, she was let go in September due to unreliable home health aides provided by Medicaid. Sometimes they don’t show up, or are late, or have to leave early, which put her job in jeopardy, resulting in dismissal. Barbara loved that job. She will now have to move in with her parents, due to her dire financial situation.
This huge financial challenge is exacerbated by the fact that child support is inconsistent or not at all. Barbara adopted her older son, Caleb as a baby. His life also changed drastically when Tanner was born. He is 12 now and helps with Tanner as much as possible. Tanner loves his big brother very much. Caleb is pretty quiet, unless you’re talking about the Gamecocks.
This family has had more than their share of struggles. Barbara’s sister died from cancer in October. Two weeks later, her mother was diagnosed with cancer. Her mother is in and out of the hospital and nursing home now. Barbara does her best to spend time with her mom in between everything else.
Barbara is emotionally strong, though physically week. Her children are her world and their safety and well-being is the most important thing in her life. She clearly has more challenges than any one person should have to manage. Barbara is also one of the most caring, hopeful, and appreciative people that you’ll ever meet.
This is one family where even a little means a lot to them. If you find it in your heart to bless them financially, you really will change their lives forever.
Please Help Us Spread The Word About Tanner
- We would welcome the opportunity to speak at your church
- Do you know someone who owns or manages a restaurant that might host a fundraising day?
- Would your company partner with us?
- Will you share about Tanner on Social Media?
- Do you know of a car dealership who might work with us on a great price for a van with a wheelchair lift?
If you can help with any of the above, please contact Lisa Sexton, Executive Director of All Things Possible Ministries at 803-389-4108 or by email Medical@ATPmin.org.
“Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”
If you’d prefer to send checks:
Make payable to All Things Possible
3160 Hwy 21, Suite 103
Fort Mill, SC 29715
IMPORTANT: For donations to be tax deductible, do NOT put Tanner’s name in the Memo section of your check or money order.