June 25, 2014

Helping Ray

Ray TT

The Friendship Circle is seeking donations to help five-year-old Ray Fantel, who was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Type 1 when he was 5 months old. SMA is an incurable, terminal disease and the most frequent genetic cause of death in infants. Ray uses a small power wheelchair for mobility, but there is currently not much room in his family’s conversion van for them to enjoy family life. “This is becoming a safety issue as Ray grows,” said his mother, Marcy. “To fit his power wheelchair into their van, they have to elevate his seat, which is a safety concern because the wheelchair has not been crash tested in an elevated position. Further, Ray’s caregivers cannot easily and quickly perform necessary medical treatments while the van is moving. A larger van will eliminate this safety issue as well.” The total estimated cost of purchasing a larger vehicle and converting it is $62,500. The Fantels will sell their converted van for approximately $40,000 so they need $22,500 to allow Ray to be safely transported with his family and to participate more fully in family life. To help, visit www.mercerfriendshipcircle.org/forray.