PORTLAND, OR (May 10, 2018) Teryl Hoffman lives in Oregon and relies on social security as her source of income. As you can imagine, that creates quite a financial burden. Teryl has an amazing family story of strength and fortitude. Three months before her daughter was born, she received a phone call from Connecticut asking if she would be interested in adopting a little girl. When she was born, Teryl was told that the baby would not survive. They gave her six hours at most. When she pulled through, they gave her six weeks, then six months at the most. Well, 14 years later she’s still fighting and thriving! She’s the only person to survive with her combined diagnosis.
Bryten has a rare severe form of Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) also known as brittle bone disease. Her genetic type is rare enough that it is not yet numbered. Only one other person has been diagnosed with this type, but passed away at 19 months of age. Bryten also has a secondary form (type 16) that no one has survived past birth. Because of her severity, every transfer is a risk for a broken bone if not done properly or safely; even then, she often breaks. Bryten has broken more than 1000 times by age five. She has suffered from low oxygen multiple times in life and has developmental delays as a result. She also has many secondary issues resulting from her OI such as respiratory issues, slowly losing vision, long bone deformities, and is now developing spinal rotational collapse. She also has a depleted immune system and ACD secondary to chronic bone fractures taxing her body. She gets a series of life sustaining infusions every eight weeks in Randall Children’s Hospital in Portland. Through it all she loves life.
Teryl currently has a 21 year old lift van that is in need of serious repair. Their van is too small to easily house a power chair, a Rodeo stroller, a manual chair, a scooter or walker, and three people. Even when it is just her and her daughter, they need to haul three mobility devices. There is always a need for a stroller for emergency backup; if Bryten breaks while they are out, she cannot drive her power chair. Teryl’s, who is also a wheelchair user, needs to count for her chair to fit into the equation.
About Steelman Family Foundation
René Steelman, founder of the foundation, has six children. Her youngest was born with severe
disabilities and has cerebral palsy, rendering him wheelchair-bound and unable to speak. We are
dedicated to helping families with non-ambulatory children under the age of eighteen, acquire
wheelchair accessible vehicles. Our mission is to help families with children diagnosed with a permanent
disability participate in community, recreational, or everyday experiences as a united family. SFF also
supports events to benefit cerebral palsy education and activities. We support families across the
United States. To learn more, visit www.steelmanfamilyfoundation.org.
About United Access
Established in 1997, this small, privately-owned and operated company has grown into the second
largest provider of accessible vehicles and products across the country. United Access partnered with
industry-leading manufacturers to supply its stores with the best and safest products, including
accessible wheelchair vans, trucks and SUVs, wheelchair lifts and scooter lifts, hand controls, power
transfer seats and more. To learn more, visit www.unitedaccess.com.