Houston, I Have a Problem: Teen's family can't afford wheelchair-accessible van

Posted at 6:55 PM, Mar 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-20 18:56:57-04

DILLSBORO, Ind. -- When 16-year-old Caine Abner hit a growth spurt, his family sized up his wheelchair to match. The cost of upgrading the family van to one that would be wheelchair-accessible, however, was beyond their reach. 

Now, Caine stays home when his family members go to restaurants, the movies and on other outings.

"I get very emotional about it," his mother, Nicole Abner, said. "I feel helpless that I can't (afford it). I work full-time, but it's just the cost of the modifications and the van together is astronomical."

According to Abner, the cost would amount to around $14,000 for floor modifications and $5,000 for the installation of a wheelchair lift -- both more than she can afford.

There's hope, however. 

When WCPO heard her story, we got in touch with M.C. Mobility Systems, a company that specializes in adapting vehicles to be wheelchair-accessible. 

Store manager Cassy Churchill thought she and her colleagues could help.

"We are meeting with (the Abners) next week, Tuesday, to get an idea of what vehicle modifications would work for Caine and the family," she wrote in an email.

Watch the video above to meet Caine and learn more about his family's situation.