Manitowoc family raises funds for a wheelchair-accessible van for their daughter with serious medical conditions

MANITOWOC, Wis. (WBAY) – The Manitowoc community rallies behind a teenage girl and her family as she continues to face serious health issues throughout her life.

Gracie Clark, 13, is full of love and lots of smiles. She loves to listen to music, especially Elvis, and most of all, she loves to go for car rides.

“If you tell her the night before ‘we’re going goodbye,’ she’ll be up at 5 a.m. ready to go, goodbye. She won’t let you forget her. She loves being on the go,” her mother said. , Ashley Brown.

However, Gracie has faced many struggles with her health since birth, making it extremely difficult to experience those adventures she loves so much.

“Gracie has the most beautiful soul. She doesn’t see hate, she doesn’t judge. She loves everyone she meets and her laughter is contagious. She deserves to have as many adventures as possible,” Brown said.

Brown says that almost every year it seems her daughter is diagnosed with a new disease, a new challenge.

“When she was born, two months later, I noticed she wasn’t following anything with her eyes. She was diagnosed with septo-optic dysplasia. It came back that she was totally blind in both eyes. She Diagnosed with cerebral palsy on the left side so she can’t walk She is wheelchair dependent, dependent on mom She has gastroparesis and has a permanent feeding tube She has Lennox Syndrome -Gastaut. She suffers from severe epilepsy and it is very difficult to treat. She is on several sedative medications. She also suffers from chronic respiratory failure. She has ongoing heart problems. We are still working on the ones we have just had. find out. It’s the most recent thing she’s experienced,” Brown explained.

Brown says they desperately need a handicap-accessible van to take Gracie to her appointments in Madison and Milwaukee.

“What we do is we load her up, my partner and I go and pick her up and put her in our van that we have now. Then we have to put her wheelchair in the back which is very heavy Gracie is five foot tall, 140 lbs and her wheelchair weighs 84 lbs If she has multiple appointments in different places I am constantly pulling her out and putting her in, taking her out and putting her in “Brown said.

Close friends started a GoFundMe page to help the family try to reach their fundraising goal.

People can also help Gracie by coming to Put Gracie on the road! enjoy this Saturday from 2-10 p.m. at the Wildcats Longbranch Saloon, 4008 Village Drive, Whitelaw.

“I stay home with Gracie full time, and my partner works full time, even overtime. It’s just impossible to try to save up and have enough money for a really good van that would allow it to last,” Brown said. “A wheelchair van would give us the freedom to have more adventures.”

Community members can find more information about Saturday’s fundraiser on the Facebook event page. If you would like to donate to the family’s GoFundMe, Click here.

Gracie, 13, has significant health issues