NEWNAN, Ga. - Jason Tuttle started a social media campaign last year to raise funds for a handicap accessible van for his two children,14-year old Zachary and 12-year old Samantha, who are both special needs.
Tuttle's children were born with multiple medical issues, have limited mobility, and require wheelchairs.
It had become increasingly difficult for Tuttle and his wife to lift and secure the children in their previous vehicle, and would soon be impossible to transport both children at the same time.
The family launched a GoFundMe campaign to help raise $60,000 to purchase a wheelchair-accessible van that would accommodate the children into adulthood, a vehicle big enough to comfortably fit two wheelchairs, and outfitted with the necessary safety equipment.
Both parents work, but between living expenses and medical bills, their budget is strapped.
Tuttle said, "We could not have done this without the help of FOX 5."
The campaign took off once our story aired, FOX 5 viewers, local businesses, and others were moved by the Tuttle's plight.
"I had kind of done my own personal social media campaign and then we had the spot we did on tv and it just blew up after that," said Tuttle.
Tuttle said donations started rolling in after his story aired on FOX 5 in October. Thanks to the generosity of FOX 5 viewers and others, the family was able to purchase a new van in January. The specialized vehicle was delivered to their Newnan residence on Saturday.
The new van is, "two to three times the size of the old van", Tuttle noted. It is designed to ensure a comfortable, secure ride for the children for years to come.
"It's certainly opened possibilities like now we can consider traveling places if we so choose to," said Tuttle. "We've got the room and the space, and more so the safety to be able to travel with them versus what they were."
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