Paralyzed college senior gets new disability van from community

He was paralyzed in a theatre accident at the age of 15 years old. Now a senior in college -- he's overcome nearly every challenge life has thrown at him.

He was paralyzed in a theatre accident at the age of 15 years old. Now a senior in college, Drew Clayborn overcome nearly every challenge life has thrown at him.

On Friday Clayborn was able to see first-hand the result of community support in action.

"Just a blessing - a lot of people supporting me," he said.

On Friday Drew got his first look inside of his new mobility vehicle. It's a vehicle his family was able to purchase thanks to contributions made to a GoFundMe account that came about after Drew did not win a contest to receive a disability van.

"We started off trying to win a contest," said Drew's father LaDon Clayborn. "And it turned into a GoFundMe, and then it turned into a community effort to get him this vehicle before going back to school."

It was six years ago when Drew became paralyzed after performing a backflip during a high school performance. Drew is currently a student in Ann Arbor studying at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. 

"I remember the day he got hurt and it felt like our entire family's life fell apart," said Desirae Clayborn, his sister. "And just seeing how far Drew has come over the past six years is just beyond what we ever imagined. And this van is just going to take him even further than he has already been."

Fox 2's Amy Lange has been covering Drew's story ever since, and was on hand to see him get his new ride.

"We're just so lucky to have the job we have, so we can share the word," Lange said.  "And our Fox 2 viewers and people who want to help responded." Amy Lange

Drew says he loves his new vehicle and he said the biggest difference is that he gets to sit up front. In his previous van his chair had to go in the back.

"It's nice to see where I'm going," he said.

"It gives them an alternative for a safe mobility vehicle that's already designed from the ground up," said Eileen Klotzer, Matick Mobility Vehicles. "Nothing has been altered; everything is designed for the vehicle around the ramp."

Thanks to contributions, the family paid $35,000 but still owe about $20,000 for this new vehicle. If you would like to help out and learn more Drew and his efforts go to www.thedcrew.org


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