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Tri-State donates $18K toward van for Elder HS grad living with ALS

His wish: To watch Elder football games at the Pit again
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Posted at 10:00 PM, Jun 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-12 23:59:52-04

CINCINNATI — Pat Emery is headed to the Pit.

Last month, WCPO reported on the 1983 Elder High School graduate’s one wish after he was diagnosed with ALS in February: Emery wants a van he can take to Elder’s football games so he can cheer on his alma mater.

Since that report, people across the Tri-State have come a long way to show their support and make his wish to watch his favorite high school football team come true.

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Pat and Victoria Emery at their home.

For Pat and Victoria Emery, normal looks a little different these days. He’s got some new wheels, giving him more opportunities to go out.

“Taking my dogs for a walk. Just getting out. Got a little bit of sun now. Makes me happy,” he said.

Unfortunately, those wheels only offer so much freedom.

“The dream is to get a van, a wheelchair accessible van, so I can live. I can have a little bit more freedom.”

Thanks to the generosity of folks across the Tri-State, more than $18,000 was raised on top of a $10,000 grant so Pat and Victoria’s dream will be realized.

“Going anywhere with my husband in the seat next to me -- it’s been a long time,” she said of the man she’ll be married to 19 years this August. “I go everywhere alone. A lot.”

Victoria Emery says she's looking forward to getting out more with her husband Pat with the help of the new accessible van.

The mobility van will be dropped off Monday, and their first stop is Li'l Goodie Shoppe in Colerain Township.

“I’m flying, and buying!” Victoria said.

In a few months, Pat will have the opportunity he’s dreamed of.

“And that’s one step closer to get to the Pit. To be able to get to the Pit, and to tell those people thank you,” he said.

Freedom for Pat is coming, and he’s excited to ride along with his partner.

“I want to live, and I’m going to be able to live a little bit and be able to be free. Feel free. And to have things that I don’t have to rely on others,” he said. “Now I can spread my wings a little bit.”

To donate toward the remaining cost of the van for Pat, find their GoFundMe campaign here.