Dalton is a friend to all and is known for his ginormous grin – he was voted Prom King and also won the Illinois State Fair smile award! In May, he graduated high school along with some of his closest friends. But even with all of this, he was feeling a little down.
Now 18 years old, Dalton has been diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Aicardi Goutieres, which affects his mobility. He has had to watch his friends get their licenses and make plans to go off to college, gaining their independence while he stayed home.
Sitting at home is hard on Dalton, who is a social butterfly and will talk to anyone and everyone. His mom, Angie, shares that Dalton often couldn’t leave the house because she couldn’t load him into the family vehicle.
“There have been times when he didn’t get to go where he wanted,” says Angie. “He missed out on some things.”
Angie started to look at purchasing an accessible van so that she could help Dalton, but soon realized the enormous expense of converting a van to Dalton’s needs. After looking at the costs from all angles, she reached out to Variety to see if we could help.
Thanks to our supporters, Variety was able to assist with the funding to make a van lift more affordable for Dalton’s family.
Now, the conversion of the van is complete and Dalton is going everywhere with the help of the lift. He and his family were able to attend Variety’s Dinner with the Stars to see John Legend – Dalton’s very first concert. The van also makes it easier to take Dalton to his clinical trial in Philadelphia every three months, a very important trip. But it’s something as simple as getting to go out more often that makes Dalton happy.
“We can go wherever we want to go, whenever we want to go,” exclaims Angie. “I cried and cried when I found out we didn’t have to pay for the whole lift. We have been blessed.”
Angie would like to thank Variety and our amazing supporters for making this possible, saying “It’s great that Variety’s supporters realize the needs of Variety Kids.” She adds that this isn't the first equipment Dalton has received with help from Variety - he has also gotten a stroller, accessories for his wheelchair and more.
Thank you, Variety supporters, for seeing this need and continuing to help kids like Dalton.