Acts of Kindness: Community helps family buy specialized van - 8 News NOW

Acts of Kindness: Community helps family buy specialized van

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NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. - After one year of fundraising and plenty of ups and downs, the Gardner family finally got its wish. The community helped the family raise money to buy a specialized vehicle that can hold two six-foot-long wheelchairs.

Sandy Gardner and Matt Barber are caring for three kids: Cashel, Allie and Emily.

Cashel and Allie are confined to their beds and their specialized wheelchairs. Doctors diagnosed them with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Cashel and Allie cannot breathe, swallow or eat on their own. They were not expected to live past the age of two.

“I just can't believe Cashel's going to be an adult in January,” said Gardner.

The family must take several pieces of equipment every time they leave the house. “It's always been one kid at a time to doctors' appointments,” said Barber.

The new vehicle can accommodate everything they need.

“Extra vent circuits, extra batteries. We’re going to need a storage unit,” Barber said. "It's just a blessing to be able to, at any time, throw the kids in here and go wherever we want to go. It’s just amazing.”

Most importantly, the family can now start planning a vacation.

“Cashel and Allie have always dreamed of going to Disneyland and going to California,” said Gardner. “I’m more local. We’re looking forward to going to church, but that’s their huge dream.”

Cashel is also the subject of a documentary. He created his own website that offers encouragement to families affected by SMA.

Meanwhile, if you wish to nominate someone for Acts of Kindness, visit our website or e-mail us.

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