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North Chicago police officers, firefighters donate accessible van to wheelchair-bound girl

15-year-old North Chicago resident Ivone Garibay and her grandparents received a handicap accessible van Sunday morning from North Chicago police and firefighters. | Provided photo.

A 15-year-old girl who has cerebral palsy and is wheelchair-bound received a handicap accessible van thanks to police officers and firefighters in North Chicago.

Ivone Garibay, 15, is non-verbal, non-mobile and wheelchair-bound. Her mother died from cancer in 2019.

Ivone’s grandparents became her guardians and take care of her medical responsibilities, said Jim Moran, Interim Community Information Coordinator for the City of North Chicago.

“Ivone is able to attend school; however, transportation has been a challenge for the family,” Moran said. The grandparents are also responsible for the care of two other grandchildren.

Police met Ivone and her grandparents during the 2019 North Chicago Shop with a Cop event.

15-year-old North Chicago resident Ivone Garibay and her grandparents received a handicap accessible van Sunday morning from North Chicago police and firefighters. | Provided photo.

Members of the North Chicago Police Department helped the family install a new wheelchair ramp to their home earlier this year.

The North Chicago Firefighters Union IAFF Local 3271 and North Chicago Police Patrolman ICOPS Union later raised money to help the family purchase a wheelchair accessible vehicle.

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“Currently, to transport Ivone anywhere outside of the home, her grandparents need to lift her out of her wheelchair and place her into the backseat of their car and place her wheelchair in the trunk. This requires heavy lifting for Ivone’s grandparents,” Moran said.

On Saturday, firefighters and police officers delivered the van to Ivone’s home in the 1000 block of Jackson Street in North Chicago.

“A handicap accessible vehicle not only will improve the quality of life for Ivone, but also tremendously help her grandparents,” Moran said.


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