Chilliwack family hopes for push in drive to find new wheels

Variety Club helps with the replacement of an aging wheelchair van, but more money still needed

The Bruneski family is in need of a modified van to help get their son Isaac (centre) around

The Bruneski family is in need of a modified van to help get their son Isaac (centre) around

Anyone who knows Isaac Bruneski is well aware of his special talent, and charm.

“He will encourage you and do everything he can to make you smile,” says his dad, Chad Bruneski. “The best thing he can do in a day is make you smile.”

The 12-year-old has this “beautiful demeanor” despite the frustrations he faces. Isaac has cerebral palsy, with very severe spastic quadriplegia, and spends his entire day in a wheelchair. He needs help eating, dressing himself, and of course, getting to and from places.

“He loves to have fun and experience things and there are a lot of frustrations in his life,” Chad says. “He’s a really engaged kid. He makes the most of what he can, and that’s in his personal interactions with people.”

He loves school, watching the Canucks, and listening to music. Isaac was recently the winner of the Principal’s Award, which is presented for perseverance, hard-work and setting an example for others.

But his interactions could soon be severely limited, as the family’s van is inching toward its final days. And anyone who knows the challenges of moving someone with cerebral palsy knows those modified vans don’t come easily. They’re current van has been good to them, but they don’t want to be left in the lurch.

“We have an older ‘95 wheelchair van, it’s not that efficient and it’s kind of starting to see the end of itself,” Chad says. “We are very dependent on it. It’s the only way we can get Isaac around. But those type of things are little bit tough to find. We just can’t go and grab a used vehicle.”

And as could be expected, they are also very pricey.

“A vehicle of this kind would cost $76,000,” Chad says. “You’re taking a cargo van and you’re having it modified.”

It’s the modification that really adds to the cost, at anywhere from $25,000 to $30,000 to have it outfitted.

In addition to the need for an outfitted vehicle, the Bruneskis are thrilled to be expecting to grow their family soon. They are very close to the end of the adoption process, to welcome two more children into their family. That will bring them up to five children, making a van even more necessary.

Not wanting to see the lovely Bruneski family stuck at home without proper transportation, their circle of friends have planned an event to help fund-raise for a large portion of the van costs. The Bruneskis don’t expect the fundraising to cover all the costs, and are planning on financing whatever isn’t raised.

“We are going to be about $55,000 short,” Chad says. They’ve been lucky to have funding approved through both the Variety Club and President’s Choice, but that funding needs to be spent within the next six months, or it will be lost.

“It’s a little bit of a catch-22,” he says. “It’s a real blessing to have the money.”

But it needs to be spent quickly, and it needs to be on a vehicle that will take the family through the long haul. That means it needs to be new or nearly new.

They were thrilled to learn about the fundraiser being planned on their behalf, as well as a fundraising page.

“It’s such a humbling experience,” Chad says. “It’s pretty amazing.”

He is a part of a non-profit foundation himself, and is very aware of all the competing needs in the community, great and small alike.

“I see the need all the time. I know there are people who could use many things,” he says. “And I know this is a big ticket item, it’s not something you can just grab and go easily.”

The new van will allow the family to get Isaac to his physio appointments, youth group, and their regular jaunts into Children’s Hospital.

The fundraiser coming being planned is called Beats, Eats and Bids, and is being held Friday Oct. 21 at Central Community Church. It will be an evening of live music, great food and what is hoped to be an epic auction. Tickets are $20/person.

For those that can’t attend (or want a tax receipt) there is also a crowd-funding page set up at www.vanfund.ca, along with more information about Isaac, his family, and ways to help.

 

Just Posted

Robin Sanford and her fiance Simon Park were married in an impromptu ceremony at Abbotsford Regional Hospital on June 16. (Submitted photo)
Mom dies day after witnessing daughter’s hospital wedding in Abbotsford

Nurses help arrange impromptu ceremony in 3 hours for bride and groom

Alexis Paige Simpson has not been in contact with her family in two months. (RCMP photo)
UPDATE: Chilliwack RCMP looking for missing 20-year-old woman

Parents of Alexis Paige Simpson provide corrected information in missing person report

(Pixabay Image)
Monday’s top temperature topples record in Agassiz

Temps reached into the low 30s to break records in Agassiz, Environment Canada says

BC Wildfire Service (Black Press Media files)
Fire at Eleven Mile Creek near Hope classified as out of control

It’s a small blaze so far at 20 hectares, but firefighters don’t yet have a handle on it

A drone’s-eye view of the Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge. (Screenshot/Shutter Speed Network)
Kent Council advocates for a wider Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge

Council voted unanimously to send letter of concern to transportation ministry

A person stands in a tower on the perimeter of the Number 3 Detention Center in Dabancheng in western China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region on April 23, 2021. Human rights groups and Western nations led by the United States, Britain and Germany accused China of massive crimes against the Uyghur minority and demanded unimpeded access for U.N. experts at a virtual meeting on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 denounced by China as “politically motivated” and based on “lies.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Mark Schiefelbein
VIDEO: Trudeau demands truth from China about Uyghurs

PM says Canada has admitted broken Indigenous relationship, unlike China on Uyghurs

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran, middle right, participates in a ribbon-cutting ceremony in honour of the launch of Kelowna’s plasma donor centre at Orchard Plaza Mall on June 22. From left to right: Canadian Blood Services’ business development manager Janna Pantella, Canadian Blood Services’ operational excellence manager Tyler Burke, Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran and Canadian Blood Services’ centre manager Janine Johns. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
B.C.’s first dedicated plasma donor centre opens in Kelowna

The Kelowna location is the third dedicated plasma donor to open in Canada

Children walk with their parents to Sherwood Park Elementary in North Vancouver for the first day back to school on Sept. 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Study reassures parents, teachers that COVID-19 infrequently shared at school

Federally funded study in Vancouver finds risk in the classroom and in the community identical

Conservative MP Kevin Waugh rises during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday April 13, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Single-game sports betting about to become legal in Canada

Senate passes bill to take sports gambling away from overseas agencies

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Point Roberts is part of the mainland United States but not physically connected to it, to reach the community by land one must pass through Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Closed Canadian border leaves Point Roberts’ only grocery store on verge of closure

‘We’re Americans but we’re not attached to America. It’s easy to forget we’re here,’ says owner Ali Hayton

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in December that Surrey’s new hospital will be located in Cloverdale, next to KPU. (File photo: Malin Jordan)
Health minister expects construction of Surrey’s new hospital in Cloverdale to begin in 2023, open in 2027

Adrian Dix spoke Tuesday in a Zoom meeting hosted by the Surrey Board of Trade concerning the new hospital

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. home owner grant won’t be altered, despite expert advice

Tax break for residences worth up to $1.6 million too popular

B.C. conservation officer Sgt. Todd Hunter said a black bear is believed to have killed local livestock. (THE NEWS/files)
Black bear believed to have killed miniature donkey in Maple Ridge

Trap set for predator that has been killing livestock

Most Read