With help from community, Tempe woman hopes she can buy a wheelchair accessible van

A Tempe woman has restored hope, after the community continues to step in to help her in a big way, giving her hope that she will be able to buy a much-needed van.

"During the pandemic, I’ve been pretty much trapped in my house. Can’t really go anywhere. I can’t take public transportation because I don’t wanna risk my health for any reason," said Kylie Thompson.

In 2006, Thompson and her family were pushed off of the road by a semi while driving home from Utah.

"The van flipped, killed my sister and left me paralyzed from the waist down," said Thompson. "I had my dad, my mom and my brother with us. They’re all doing OK now."

After months of recovery, Thompson was finally able to go home. Since then, she’s been learning new ways to continue gaining independence, but one major factor -- transportation -- is holding her back.

"I can’t just hop into a friend's car, catch a ride with somebody. I have to rely on public transportation for transportation that’s fit for wheelchair users," said Thompson. "Taxi services or rideshare services don’t really provide that."

Thompson has started a fundraising campaign on the site Help Hope Live to get some assistance buying a wheelchair accessible van. Friends, family and her employer Carvana have stepped in to help. She's hoping to reach her final goal, so she can soon purchase the van of her dreams.

"The modifications cost as much as the vehicle itself, if not more," said Thompson. "I don’t make enough to be able to afford a $70,000 car, so I’m just hoping to get a little bit of help."