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Teen with disability gets mobility van after donations pour in

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RICHMOND, Ind. (April 27, 2015)– An Indiana teenager with a disability finally received the mobility van he so desperately needed thanks to the kindness of strangers including a very special boy.

Ben Brawley, 14, is a social bug who loves to go bowling and see his friends. Getting around, however, is difficult because he was born with a rare condition.

“He had a stroke before he was born so he has hydrocephalus,” explained Ben’s mother, Pam Brawley.

That means she and her husband will often carry him. And when it comes to traveling outside of their Richmond home, Ben is strapped into a car seat in their van.

“He’s getting heavier especially for mom to pick up and put in the van,” explained Pam. “That’s a chore ‘cause then we break down the wheelchair and put it in the back after we put him in a car seat that’s made for older children, but he’s just about outgrown that also.”

A new mobility van costs around $60,000. The family needs about half of that to make a down payment and get it home.

That's where two very special Hoosiers decided to step up.

Abby Chamberlain, 10, and Johnathan Terhaar, 9, started raising money. Chamberlain has been friends with Ben since they were in daycare. Terhaar was a stranger and only heard of Ben's story. He sold birthday cards, chicken eggs from his farm, and even raffled off Pacers tickets to bring in money.


“Because there are people out there in more need than things that we just want,” Terhaar answered.

In just about two months, he raised nearly $2,000 for Ben.

After FOX59's story aired, our viewers also gave. One anonymous donation from Indianapolis totaled $20,000.

All of it was enough to bring home a brand new Braun mobility van.

“He loves to be out and about and he loves to be with his friends and the community and family. This will allow us to do a lot more of it,” said Pam Brawley. "We can’t thank your viewers and everybody here locally that’s helped make this happen."

“No more having to pick him up, lifting him inside," explained Daniel Schneider with Superior Van & Mobility. "It’s just gonna make everything quicker less strenuous on the family. And it’s gonna make things a lot easier for them.”

To learn more about Ben and the fundraiser, click here.