Family hoping to raise money for wheelchair accessible van - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Family hoping to raise money for wheelchair accessible van

KENNER, LA (WVUE) - A Kenner family needs to raise $50,000 to purchase a van that their son, who has special needs, will fit in. Now, they're calling on the community for help.

Dylan Tujague is the apple of his parent's eye. His mom, Donna, describes him saying, "He's a very happy, loving, just jokester."

Tujague was born with cloverleaf skull and now relies on a ventilator, feeding tube and oxygen among other things.

"He's been through over 40 surgeries, he has rods and screws in his neck," said Donna.

The 13-year-old recently experienced a growth spurt and had to get a bigger wheelchair. That chair just barely fits into his family's van.

Donna explains, "He only has like an inch clearance on each side. When you're maneuvering it on the lift, I've almost dropped him, it's very scary."

Health insurance doesn't cover the cost of the van which runs between $50,000 to $60,000 so the family, along with a local non-profit, organized a fundraiser to be held Sunday at the Harahan Lions Club. People from across the city are donating items for door prizes and to be auctioned off. They're also donating their time.

Game Time Saints and other team super fans are just some of the entertainers who say they'll show up Sunday. Game Time says it's the least he can do to help a family in need. "If you're gonna do it and you're gonna attract attention to yourself you might as well do something positive," said the super fan.

The Tujague's are hoping between 150 and 300 people turn out Sunday. Donna Tujague says her appreciation for everyone whose helped the family thus far, can't be expressed just in words. "We feel so blessed and we always say all those people out there are Dylan's angels and they're the ones that get us through and give us the faith to keep going," said Donna Tujague.

Now, the family hopes they can keep Dylan going to baseball and all of the other activities he loves, if they can purchase a new van.

Sunday's fundraiser will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Harahan Lions Club located at 1001 Hickory Ave. Tickets are $10 and include a plate dinner, drinks, dessert and one door prize ticket.

If you can't make it to the event and would still like to donate, you can send a check to the Dylan Tujague Special Needs Trust, P.O. Box 640613, Kenner, La 70064.

Copyright 2014 WVUE. All rights reserved.

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