Family in need of a wheelchair accessible van gets surprise Christmas gift

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LAWRENCE, Kan. -- One local family got a Christmas surprise they'll certainly never forget.

A Lawrence family was in desperate need of a wheelchair accessible van for their children. Thanks to Cars 4 Christmas, they got their wish.

You could say Madalon Vann and her husband James are experts when it comes to foster care.

"210 over 21 years," said Madalon.

They currently have ten kids, and adopted six of them.

"They all have special needs," she added, "They are the ones who need the most help, and Shannon was headed to an institution, no one wanted her except for us, and she was heading to an institution and we decided we wanted to take her."

Cars4Christmas, a non-profit that provides free basic transportation to disadvantaged people who can't get it on their own -- showed up at the Vann's house on Thursday.

"I just had the impression that he was going to help us get our other one fixed," said Madalon.

But that wasn't the case. Their adopted daughter Rebekah heard about Cars 4 Christmas on the radio, and submitted her mom. On Thursday, they received their wheelchair accessible van.

"I've seen them struggle numerous times with the van lift not working, and the uncertainty that it brings," said Rebekah.

"The van that we had sometimes her ramp would come up and sometimes it would not, and sometimes it would go down and sometimes it wouldn't," Madalon said.

Madalon adopted 28-year-old Shannon when she was just a year-and-a-half old. She's disabled and uses a wheelchair.

"We literally have taken a few men to get her wheelchair out of the van, when the ramp wouldn't work, so, it's so nice to have one that works," said Madalon.

"Here's some people that have obviously given of themselves," said the Car Santa.

Car Santa says its organization gets 15,000 requests for a car per year, but they can only give out around 300.

"It's very difficult, because probably 80 percent of them deserve a vehicle, but some of it has to do with needs, sometimes you read the perfect story like this one," Car Santa said.

This van was donated a week ago and Cars 4 Christmas made sure it was put it in the right hands.

"Just the love that they've shown even through my other nine siblings, and so to do something for her was just a blessing," Rebekah said.

"I really am so thankful for the blessing of having this," said Madalon.

Family members said the van is the best Christmas gift they could have asked for.

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