Mobility van for boy with cerebral palsy catches fire on way to doctor appointment

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - A local family is desperately looking for help after their mobility van catches fire while they were driving down the interstate.

The van was a necessary tool to make 11-year-old Nicolas' life easier.

He has cerebral palsy and has to get to the doctor frequently. Now, his mom says this is the latest blow on her quest to give her son a more comfortable life.

His family has come together to get him where he needs to go. Their latest journey was from their home in Anderson to Riley Hospital for Children. When all of a sudden the van caught fire.

"I passed a car, went to move back over to my lane flipped on my blinker, looked out the mirror and nothing but smoke behind our van," grandfather Eddie Miller said.

Eddie and his wife got their grandchildren out of the van and within six minutes Eddie says it was completely scorched. Only the frame remained.

"It wasn't good," Eddie said as he wiped tears from his eyes.

Eddie became emotional thinking about how this could have ended. He's been helping his daughter Sheena with Nicolas since he was born. They'd only had the van for 4 months.

"My dad and I put together money and had an opportunity to get a mobility van for him. It was a little older but you could tell it had been well taken care of," Sheena said.

Now, at about 100 pounds, the family has a hard time lifting Nicolas. The van made traveling easier for everyone.

"We didn't have to lift him in and out of the van or my car. Didn't have to break his wheelchair down, put it in take it out, put it back together, carry him out," Eddie said.

Sheena says while she felt like things were finally looking up for her son, she's faced with another setback.

"I feel like every time we get ahead we get ten steps behind again and back to square one. I honestly don't know where we'll get the resources to ever get a vehicle. And I'm afraid as he gets older and bigger how we're going to transport him safely," Sheen said.

Sheena says her dad and stepmom have been her biggest support. But, losing the van was just too much to recover from so she decided to reach out for help. The family has set up a gofundme page to help them buy a new van for Nicolas.