Local families surprised with gift for their children with special needs

Eight-year-old Gracey Kelson, of Mount Holly, has cerebral palsy and other health issues; as a result, she can’t do most things for herself.

Thirteen-year-old Jaysen Drum, of York, also has cerebral palsy.

A growth he was born with causes fluid to go to his brain.

Both families needed the right vehicle that could safely get their children around and make life easier.

On Friday morning, the families walked into Ilderton Conversion Company on South Boulevard in Charlotte.

The company builds and sells wheelchair-accessible vans.

[Girl with cerebral palsy gets new wheelchair van from community donations]

The families each got a van free of cost.

“This is a game-changer for us, man,” said Victor Kelson, Gracey’s father. “It’s surreal, because I didn’t expect something like this.”

TV news cameras rolled as Gracey helped pushed a button to open the door and lower the wheelchair ramp on a low-mileage 2012 Toyota Sienna Minivan.

It was given to them thanks to donations to All Things Possible, which is based in York County.

Not having a vehicle that could transport Tracey has been a huge problem, family members said. They’ve missed medical appointments for her, but that likely won’t happen again.

“Since the day we brought her home from the hospital, I always had a feeling we’d need something a little more equipped for her. So for it to be taking place like this, is just so amazing,” said Mel Kelson, Casey’s mother.

Jaysen’s 80-year-old great grandmother Barbara Hodges takes care of him. She must lift him in and out of her car.

“Want to feel my muscles?” she asked Channel 9 reporter Greg Suskin.

Hodges thought she was going to Ilderton Cconversion to look at a possible trade-in deal for her car.

She had no idea she would be taking home a 2014 Town and Country minivan, which was paid for in full.

“God is good all the time. That’s all I can say. He is so good!” she said. “Miracles really do happen.”

For years, All Things Possible’s medical fundraising efforts have helped raise money for wheelchair-accessible vans and specialized medical equipment that is often very expensive and out-of-reach for many families.