Friends raising money to help child with special needs - FOX Carolina 21

Friends raising money to help child with special needs

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Destinee Cook (June 13, 2017/FOX Carolina) Destinee Cook (June 13, 2017/FOX Carolina)
TAYLORS, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Upstate family and friends are joining together to raise money to help a family purchase a new handicap-accessible van.

The Cook family of Taylors need the van for their 14-year-old daughter Destinee.  Their current van is 14 years old and in need of repairs including the van lift to raise Destinee in the van.

A friend of the Cooks and a parent of a child with special needs says the Cook's van is dangerous.

"It's not safe, it gets to a point to where if you have equipment for your children that is faulty, its not safe," Christian Morgan said. "So, its better to keep Destinee at home where she is safe than to put her on equipment that could make her life harder. Is she were to fall and be injured on top of the special needs she already has, that would be devastating."

Destinee Cook's mother, Sherry, said when Destinee was born, her family was sent home with a perfectly healthy baby. At 3 months old, complications arose and their world was completely turned upside down.

They discovered that Destinee had two holes in her heart that had gone undiagnosed. They were also told that their perfect baby girl had pulmonary hypertension. She was rushed to PICU and placed on a ventilator.

Sweet Destinee spent a total of five months in ICU and was transferred to three different hospitals. She contracted e-coli during the first month of her hospital stay, which caused severe brain damage.

Destinee now is quadriplegic, is tube-fed, has a seizure disorder and severe brain damage.  Doctors estimated Destinee would live to be 2 years old, but despite the challenges, Sherry Cook said the family is blessed.

She said, "You know, we're blessed with her, wouldn't trade her for anything.we want her to experience life and be able to be around family more and be able to go out, because she does hear."

Benji, Destinee father, is the only one to be able to work and provide income for the family. Her mom, Sherry works in the home to meet Destinee's daily needs.

Their current van is no longer dependable enough to trust to transport Destinee to her doctors appointments or other activities.  Destinee's mother also has medical issues like degenerative disc disease, fibromyalgia and RSD that prevent her from being able to lift her daughter out of her chair into a non-accessible vehicle.

This family is asking for help for the purchase of a much needed rear entry handicapped accessible mini van. Morgan said, Destinee is and will always be wheelchair bound but she deserves the opportunity to move as freely as possible and be a part of her community.

There are a couple of ways to help. They have set up a GoFundMe page so that people can donate towards the goal of $11,500. Click here to contribute.

They are also having a large yard sale to raise funds toward the goal as well.

The location of this event will be: Woodside Church of God 1410 W Parker Rd Greenville SC 29617.  The yard sale is Saturday, June 24th beginning at 6 a.m. It also a hot dog and baked goods sale starting at 11 a.m.

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