A year of charity events smooths way to a new ride

HAPPY: Wendy Engler (far left), Karen Madders, Matthew Potts and Adam Griffiths are proud of the new special-needs van.
HAPPY: Wendy Engler (far left), Karen Madders, Matthew Potts and Adam Griffiths are proud of the new special-needs van. Rob Williams

FOR Collingwood Park mum Anne Potts, $63,000 is a small price to pay to see that her two sons, Matt and Adam, travel in comfort.

The brothers both have a fatal genetic disorder known as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Their debilitating condition requires them to travel in a special needs van driven by their mother, who is also their full-time carer.

Until recently, the family travelled in a run-down, 12-year-old Toyota HiAce with a failing suspension system.

It meant the brothers felt every bump on the road - which was bad for their internal organs and made driving anywhere a painful experience.

But after a year of charity events, Matt, 22, and Adam, 30, are now able to put those agonizing trips in their rear-view mirror.

Through a fundraising campaign run by family friends Karen Madders and Wendy Engler, enough money was raised to purchase a more accommodating vehicle.

A 2008 Kia Grand Carnival was purchased at a cost of $21,000 and sent to Melbourne for a further $42,000 worth of modifications for the wheelchair bound brothers.

Mrs Potts said the new van had made a huge difference and thanked the community for their support.

"We were given $19,000 through the State Government's Vehicle Options Subsidy Scheme and we also sold the old HiAce," she said.

"The rest of the money was from donations through fashion parades, raffles, theatre nights and many more fundraising events."



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