Family of 7, some with disabilities, face transportation challenge

Problem Solvers

Troy Herrera

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AURORA, Colo. -- An Aurora family of seven is asking for help from the FOX31 Denver Problem Solvers. They need a wheelchair-accessible van with a lift as two family members rely on wheelchairs, but they can’t afford it.

Troy Herrera, 7, was born with cerebral palsy. His para professional at Vista Peak Exploratory School in Aurora reached out to the Problem Solvers after she found out the family didn’t have a proper van with a lift.

For most of his life, Troy has relied heavily on his older brother Julian to get around.

“As a big brother, it's my job to take care of him and watch over him,” Julian said.

It’s a strong brotherly bond with lots of love in the family’s home.

“He’s very playful,” Julian said of Troy.

The boys’ grandparents take care of them and their siblings. But Brenda Dycus is also in a wheelchair.

“With me being in the wheelchair too, it gets to be bad sometimes,” Dycus said.

And the grandfather, Jerry Dycus, needs to use a cane to walk. The family’s struggle leaves the lifting to Julian.

“Take him out of his chair, put him in the van, get the chair, put it in the van,” Julian said, explaining the process.

The family needs a wheelchair-accessible van with a lift, especially as Troy gets older and bigger.

“He feels sad when he doesn't get to go with all of us,” Brenda Dycus said. “One of us have to stay back to watch him because he can’t get in the car.”

It’s a struggle many families face.

“I mean, it’s extremely challenging,” said Marlon Neely with Freedom Mobility. “That’s why we got started.”

Neely said a new van with a conversion could cost anywhere from $50,000 to $75,000. He said it’s a problem for families across the country.

“Most of the time I've found that the insurance companies have not been helpful,” Neely said.

Freedom Mobility, based in Englewood, coverts used vans to help lower the cost for families.

“Our price point is anywhere from $20,000 to $35,000,” he said.

It’s still beyond Troy’s family budget, so his para professional helped the family set up a GoFundMe account to try to raise money.

“That there are problems going on and that they’re willing to step in, and help I think that’s a really nice thing,” Julian said. “We’re blessed to have an opportunity like that.”

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