Quadruple amputee Aimee Copeland donates van

A quadruple amputee is paying it forward by donating her wheelchair accessible van.

"I had this van donated to me so I know how that feels, but it feels even better being able to give it away," Aimee Copeland said.

Seven years ago, Snellville native Aimee Copeland fell off a zipline contracting a flesh-eating bacteria and became a quadruple amputee.

Her need for a wheelchair accessible van was immediate.

"These vans make such a difference in the lives of people with disabilities," Copeland said. "I wouldn't be able to do all the things I do today if I didn't have it." 

Recently, Copeland realized it was time for her to get a new van.

"I brought it here to AMS Vans and once they told me the trade in value, I thought what if AMS Vans uses that money to upgrade the van and then we can donate it to someone in need," Copeland said.

And that's exactly what happened.

Copeland decided to find the recipient of the van by starting an essay contest.

"We received so many submissions," Copeland said.

Copeland picked her top four based on the focus of how much the person emphasized helping others.

"I sent my top four to a panel of judges who ended up selecting Kendra Allen's as their favorite," Copeland said.

Athens resident Kendra Allen remembers the day she got the call that she was the winner of Copeland's giveaway.

"It was February 20th," Allen said. "I cried for days."

The 25-year-old Athens Technical College student was born with cerebral palsy.

"I've been praying for a van for years especially to help my mom who takes care of me," Allen said.

Last week, Allen's dreams came true. 

"I can't believe this," Allen said. "I am so thankful to God, Aimee, my family and everyone else who made this possible." 

For more information on the Aimee Copeland Foundation, visit: aimeecopelandfoundation.org/