Collaboration improves mobility for 22-year-old Delta resident

Photo by Pat Sunderland Elier Quintero is pictured with the van conversion that makes it possible for him to access church, leisure and medical activities. Also pictured are his mother, Irene Caraveo, and Randi Latham (left), a case manager with Community

Mobility is often taken for granted. But being mobile allows a person to learn, interact with others, acquire medical care and participate in the community.

Often, mobility solutions that worked as a child do not work for adults. This is the case for Elier Quintero, a 22-year-old Delta resident and Delta High School graduate. His family's van was not only unreliable, it could no longer accommodate his growth and provide the access needed to position him safely in the vehicle.

With a concerted effort of multiple agencies, funding was acquired to convert a Dodge Caravan for Elier and his family. The new van gives Elier access for church, leisure and medical activities.

Elier and his family wish to thank the following agencies that made the van conversion possible:

A.V. Hunter Trust, Inc., is a private foundation dedicated to helping those less fortunate, providing donations to Colorado nonprofit organizations and individuals in need. In 1924, the philanthropist A.V. Hunter established this endowment upon his death. His mission was "... to give aid, comfort, support or assistance to children, or aged people or indigent adults ..."

Friends of Man, whose mission is to provide help to those in need who have exhausted other resources and who meet the requirements for support on a case-by-case basis. Friends of Man is a charitable organization run by volunteers and relies on the donations of others to serve people of all ages, primarily in Colorado.

Community Options, Inc., provides comprehensive services to individuals and their families who have developmental disabilities. This organization is committed to helpng individuals lead a full and integrated life in their community. It assisted Elier in acquiring the Medicaid HCBS - Supported Living Services Waiver, which was able to contribute some funding for the van conversion.

Mobility Driven, a Grand Junction firm that specializes in adaptive driving equipment.

The firm incorporated a wide, motorized ramp that extends from the rear door of the van. Elier's mother, Irene Caraveo, can push Elier's wheelchair up the ramp and into position between two rear seats. Elier faces forward with his wheelchair locked firmly in place. There's plenty of room for his 8-year-old sister Evelyn and a couple of friends.

"We are very excited to have a vehicle to transport Elier in," his mother said. "The community's help is so appreciated!"

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