SAINT LOUIS, MO (June 15, 2018) – The Hengstenbergs have their hands full with three children in car seats and Sawyer, who is in a wheelchair. Sawyer is a very sweet little girl who has been through many things already in her short life. Sawyer was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and Seizure Disorder.
Cerebral Palsy is a disorder of movement, muscle tone or posture that is caused by damage that occurs to the immature, developing brain, most often before birth. Living with Cerebral Palsy can make it difficult for people to move about as easily especially when it comes to getting in and out of a vehicle.
“The stories we hear every day and the smiles we see on our customers faces when they drive away for the first time, fuel our passion for the work we do,” said United Access Founder, Richard May.
Thanks to a few generous organizations such as the Steelman Family Foundation, Missouri Assistive Technology, and Varity the Children’s Charity of St. Louis along with several other generous donors, the Hengstenberg family will be driving away in their new 2016 Northstar E Dodge Caravan this Friday at the United Access corporate headquarters [9389 Natural Bridge Road, St. Louis, MO 63134].
“We are dedicated to giving back to the community that has given so much to us,” said René Steelman, founder of the Foundation. “This is the first grant we’ve been able to provide outside of the West Coast and we couldn’t be happier that it’s going to the Hengstenberg family.”
“This van is going to be a life changer when going places! It is so hard to get her chair in and out of our current van,” said Mrs. Hengstenberg. “We have been in the market for a wheelchair-accessible van to accommodate our family. Having a van that would accommodate us all would be a lifesaver.”
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.
About Missouri Assistive Technology
The mission of Missouri Assistive Technology is to increase access to assistive technology for Missourians with all types of disabilities, of all ages. Programs and services of Missouri Assistive Technology are directed by the Missouri Assistive Technology Council, which was established by state statute in 1993. The Council is charged to serve as an advocate for policies, regulations and programs to establish a person-responsive, comprehensive assistive technology service delivery system. The Council meets at least four times a year, reports annually to the Governor and the general assembly on Council activities to increase access to assistive technology, and provides programmatic direction for all activities and services.
Variety empowers children with physical and developmental disabilities, also referred to as children with special needs, and improves their quality of life. Our programs highlight ability rather than disability. This holistic approach gives access to critical medical equipment and therapies, along with innovative Camp and Performing Arts programs, which provide opportunities for recreation, socialization, and artistic expression. Children gain or maintain independence, boost socialization among their friends and family, demonstrate belief in themselves, and increase skills they need to engage their world as fully as possible. To learn more, visit www.varietystl.org.