Let’s help Ms. Whitney get her Wheels
Kathy Cooke

I solicited a little help writing my column this week. A fund-raiser for Whitney Bailey called “Wheels For Whitney” is being held to help raise funds for a wheelchair accessible vehicle.

Whitney, age 23, was born with Cerebral Palsy and is the daughter of Michael and Andrea Bailey of Rockdale and Thorndale and a 2008 graduate of Thorndale High School.

Bailey graduated from Stephen F. Austin with a degree in Rehabilitative Services but has been unable to work, or even go to a job interview, due to a lack of an accessible vehicle.

An account has been set up at Rockdale Federal Credit Union under the name of “Wheels For Whitney” account #32427.

Bake sales are also being planned for the first of August. More info to come when those dates are finalized.

Or if you prefer, you can donate online at then search for Whitney Bailey and her fundraiser page will appear.

Bailey Bailey For more information, contact Shirley Bailey at 512-446-6596 or Whitney Bailey at 254-913- 5147.

The following is a blog from Whitney in her own words. It’s pretty obvious that this bright star has places to go, people to see and accomplishments to achieve.

Whitney tells her story much better than I ever could:

“I like to think of myself as any other twenty-three year old girl. I enjoy hanging out and going places with my friends and family, beginning my career, and just living a happy meaningful life to the best of my ability.

I’m an advocate for the disability community and am currently on the journey of finding employment. I’m constantly trying to find something to contribute my energy and time to.

I have never had the opportunity to have an accessible vehicle. I constantly have to rely on family and friends to transport me wherever I need to be.

To transport my wheelchair in a vehicle that is not accessible, is a strenuous task.

I have to take a manual chair most places because my 300 pound power chair is not easy to transport, to say the least.

The person transporting me has to be willing to physically lift my 125 pound body (all muscle I swear) into their car.

If they do not physically lift me, they have to patiently wait for me to maneuver my body into the seat.

The person then has to physically take apart the wheelchair, and figure out how to fit it into their car.

After we get to our destination, the whole process has to be done again. Let’s just say completing this whole process four times for one trip is a work out!

An accessible vehicle would really help in eliminating almost all of this stressful process.

I am fully independent when I am able to take my power chair out and about. What’s stopped me from getting an accessible van in the past? MONEY.

My cerebral palsy been costly to my family. To add to the expenses, before my senior year of college, my mother was diagnosed with Stage III Cervical Cancer.

While my mom was battling cancer, my dad was going through other personal battles.

My dad had to relocate for work. His new job is four hours away from home. He currently drives back and forth every weekend. My parents were my main means for transportation. My dad only comes home on the weekends.

My mother is still not physically capable of transferring me and my wheelchair into a vehicle. These circumstances often hinder me from living my life.

I would love to have an accessible vehicle so that I can have adequate transportation for wherever life takes me.”

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2013-07-11 digital edition

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