By: Melina Matthes
COUNCIL BLUFFS (kptm) - A local disabled teenager needs your help.
He's a finalist entered in a national contest.
The top four win a new wheelchair accessible van. However, he's currently in fifth place.
The family said winning the van would change their lives.
Every time Dominick Overman and his family have to go somewhere they have to load their van with his wheelchair.
It's large and barely fits, and every single time they put it in, it hits the roof. That's one of the reasons why they're asking for your help voting to get them a lower floor wheelchair accessible van. "It's a daily struggle."
The 16-year-old has cerebral palsy. It's so severe that he's restricted to a wheelchair and has frequent seizures. "This boy is amazing. He's funny, he's happy all the time and we literally have no equipment for him," his mother Dena Paladino said.
There's no ramp on the house, so everyday his mother carries him down the steps. She said putting him in the van they have is a chore. "Every day getting him in and out of the van just to go to soccer games or go to Walmart…because he loves to go shopping, I hate to leave him behind because carrying him down the steps and getting him into the van is dangerous."
To upgrade the van to what they need would cost them $15,000. That's why they've entered a national contest to win a lower floor, wheelchair accessible van, but to win, they need your help. "I am just begging for you to take 30 seconds out of your day to vote, extra vote and share to your page."
A small request to help change this family's life. "If I had a dying wish that was what it would be, not to have him normal because I love him just the way he is, but just to be able to give him a better quality of life…and when you can't do that as a parent, you feel like a failure. It truly would be a miracle for this family," Paladino said.
The family needs a new van and they're asking for your vote.
You can do so each day online using your e-mail address. If you answer a bonus question you can even enter a second vote.
You have until May 9th to vote.
The top vote getter currently has more than 6,000 votes. Dominick has about 3,600.
To vote for Dominick, go to mobilityawarenessmonth.com and click on "Vote for your hero," type in his mom's name, Dena Paladino, Council Bluffs, IA. You'll then be able to click on a photo of Dominick, sign up or log in and vote. If you're on Facebook, you can share his story on your page.
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