Carlos Delgado was born with Spina Bifida. The 19-year-old from the northwest suburbs is a paraplegic, has a tracheostomy, is ventilator dependent and needs oxygen round the clock.
He is determined to make the most of his life. The high school graduate plans to pursue a degree in computer technology and eventually live on his own. Delgado is currently in a state-funded program that provides him nursing care until he is 22.
But he needs the community's help to do it. Delgado has launched a campaign through GoFundMe.com to secure a wheelchair van and lift to help him accomplish his goals, and prevent him from being home-bound.
Delgado needs his power wheelchair, battery-operated ventilator, oxygen tank and emergency bag with him at all times. In order to go to doctor's appointments, church, family gatherings and school, he needs a van and lift that can support at least 700 lbs.
Delgado's father passed away suddenly four years ago. His mother works full time as an assembler at a medical supply manufacturing company to support Carlos, his younger sister and brother and his grandfather.
The half-ton van and lift that his family was able to purchase in 2000 – when Delgado was in a manual wheelchair – required repair in the summer of 2013. His only means of transportation has since stopped working.
The company that makes these vehicles told Delgado that he needs a three-quarter van and lift that can accommodate his developing needs and a newer model at that (Ford or Chevrolet, newer than 2006, accommodates 1,000 lbs).
Delgado says the lift will cost $8,000 with installation. The van will cost $25,000-$30,000, depending on the year and size. He wants to help his mom pay for it, and he's asking for the public's help. Even $1 donations will help.
For more information on how you can help Carlos accomplish his goal, visit his Go Fund Me campaign page.