Dream Foundation To Fulfill Woman’s Final Wish For Continued Independence With Vehicle Newly Repaired By High School Auto Body Students
Santa Barbara, CA – Dream Foundation – the first and largest national wish-granting organization for adults and their families suffering life-threatening illness – will fulfill Vickie Hull’s dream to maintain her independence by replacing the transmission in her van. The organization enlisted the dedication and talents of juniors and seniors in Mr. Larry Huff’s Automotive Technology class, who repaired Vickie’s van and will be presenting her with the keys at 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, May 22, at the body shop on campus, 1001 East Knox Rd., Tempe.
Vickie, 62, of Apache Junction, is a Hospice of Arizona patient who has been diagnosed with end-stage COPD and given a limited life expectancy of fewer than six months. Due to financial constraints and the absence of family members she’s had to rely on neighbors for all semblance of transportation – including medical appointments, grocery shopping, and other daily errands – since her van became inoperable last year.
The lack of reliable transportation on her own schedule is particularly depressing for Vickie, who says she’s been entirely responsible for herself since age nine, growing up the only child of two working parents.
“Vickie has sleep disturbances related to anxiety, and worries about not being able to care for herself,” her social worker, Sylvia Close, writes in an application letter to Dream Foundation. “Having her van repaired will fulfill Vickie’s goal of living independently for as long as possible.”
As Dream Foundation serves the final wishes of adults across the country, it often collaborates with volunteers in dreamers’ communities to help fulfill wishes. While researching the means to make Vickie’s dream come true, the foundation discovered Corona del Sol had a technical education program and decided to reach out to the instructor.
Mr. Huff responded quickly to the request for help, ascertaining the repair work would be both a learning experience and a life experience for his students.
With just one hour a day of class time to work, the students have labored over the vehicle for the past two months, and – given that the school year is close to its end – stayed late in recent days in a final push to get the job done.
The Arizona summer quickly approaching, Huff and the students decided to fix Vickie’s broken air conditioner, too, which will be a surprise revealed when she first starts the ignition.
According to Erinn Lynch, Dream Foundation’s Director of Communications, part of the beauty in fulfilling dreams is the collaborative effect it creates. “We love engaging the local communities in our service,” she says. “It’s a wonderful way people can come together to take care of one another. We are privileged to fulfill Vickie’s dream.”