‘Wish come true’: Local family receives wheelchair van on Christmas Eve

FORT MILL, S.C. — On this rainy Christmas Eve, an actual Christmas wish was granted just in time for Rita Gibson and her granddaughter Abigail Nivens.

“Abigail is 17 and I’ve had her since she was 18 months old. She has cerebral palsy,” Rita said of her granddaughter. “She can’t walk, talk, sit up, anything by herself, so she’s very dependent on me to do everything. But she smiles all the time, she hardly ever cries, just happy-go-lucky baby.”

Up until today, Rita has had to rely on family, when they’re available, to lift Abigail into a truck, putting her wheelchair in the back whenever they need to go anywhere.

On Thursday, thanks to donations from individuals and local businesses, “All Things Possible Medical Fundraising” gifted a wheelchair van to the family.

“She’s gonna love it, I’m going to take her for a ride,” Rita said.

The ability to easily and safely bring Abigail to her medical appointment, or to go for a drive when they want or need, is what this van will do for the family -- and just in time for Christmas. Abigail, who loves Christmas lights, will be able to see real light displays safely from the van.

The gift is also providing some light for the family after an especially dark year. Gibson lost her son in January and is now raising two other grandchildren.

This gift marks a milestone for “All Things Possible Medical Fundraising,” who set out to raise money and gift ten wheelchair vans to families in need within 18 months.

“There’s nobody that’s giving wheelchair vans to families in need. This is a huge gap that insurance doesn’t cover, Medicaid doesn’t cover, nobody’s taking care of these families and somebody has to,” said Lisa Sexton, Executive Director of the nonprofit.