Family Of Disabled Teen Gifted With Wheelchair Accessible Van To Help Ease Transportation Challenges

Brandon Ison
June 27, 2020 - 12:05 pm

NORTH CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- 15-year-old Ivone Garibay and her family got a big surprise from members of the North Chicago Police and Fire Department at her home in North Chicago Saturday morning that will make a positive difference in their everyday lives. 

Garibay, who has cerebral palsy, is non-verbal and is bound to a wheelchair, was gifted a silver wheelchair accessible van by members of the police and fire unions who worked together to fundraise for it.

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The event brought family, friends and some media to witness the van delivery. 

(Alex Flores)
"Ivone is able to attend school; however, transportation has been a challenge for the family," said Jim Moran, interim community information coordinator with the City of North Chicago.
Detective Alex Flores, a 19-year veteran of the North Chicago Police Department who was instrumental in organizing the fundraiser, said her grandparents have been taking care of Garibay and her two younger siblings since their mother’s passing last year. Using a wobbly wheelchair ramp to enter the home often left the grandmother with heavy lifting, making it difficult to get to medical appointments.
Flores, along with North Chicago firefighters and many others in the community, pitched in for a new wheelchair ramp and an accessible van.
The new van will help Garibay get to doctor appointments and make life easier for her grandparents.
"All these people contributed; they did everything they could to try to (help) Ivone," Flores said.
Moran said the kind gesture will make a big difference for the family.
"A handicap accessible vehicle not only will improve the quality of life for Ivone, but also tremendously help her grandparents," he said.