RALEIGH, N.C., March 24, 2011 — Rachelle Friedman was like most brides-to-be this past November, enjoying her bachelorette party with friends and caught up in the excitement of her impending wedding. But then tragedy struck. Near the end of the party one of her close friends pushed her into a pool. Rachelle hit the bottom of the pool, breaking her neck and leaving her paralyzed.
The story’s heartbreak didn’t end there. Rachelle’s fiance, Chris, was involved in a wreck after returning to see her that night in the hospital, leaving his car a total loss. The Knightdale, N.C., couple remains together and plans to get married in July. But Rachelle was being carried to and from her rehabilitation appointments, quad-rugby games and meetings for wedding planning in her mother’s SUV.
Upon hearing this story, Van Products and BraunAbility teamed up to help Rachelle and her family by providing the use of a BraunAbility wheelchair van supplied by Raleigh’s Van Products.
- “The people at BraunAbility and Van Products have been super nice and awesome to work with! So, let me just start by saying, “I LOVE my Toyota Sienna Rampvan!” …We went to Van Products in Raleigh, NC, and the staff there took me through the ins and outs of the wheelchair van. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to roll up the ramp, lock in and drive away! ” -Rachelle Friedman
Rachelle plays quad-rugby, and the van has shuttled her back and forth to games and tournaments, as well as to locations where she and Chris continue to plan for their summer wedding.
On her blog, www.rachellefriedman.com/blog, Rachelle talked about a recent trip to a concert by Cory Smith and how it wouldn’t have been possible without the use of the wheelchair van. “There were 9 of us total that got to go …,” Rachelle said. “That Braunabilty van from Van Products was so helpful that night since there were so many of us. Chris was able to get me in and out real quick, and we were able to hold me, Chris and three of our friends with all our stuff.” Rachelle continues to provide regular updates on her life and plans to marry on the blog.
Van Products, Inc., looks to provide, freedom and mobility to North Carolina’s physically challenged residents. Van Products offers personal and commercial wheelchair-accessible vehicles, lifts, ramps and hand controls. The company has two locations in the Tar Heel State, one in Raleigh at 2521 Noblin Road, and in Wilmington at 394 North Green Meadows Drive. For more information, visit their site at www.vanproducts.com or call 1-800-662-7572.