Community raises enough money to buy a new handicap accessible van for a child in Cape Coral

CAPE CORAL, Florida – Seven-year-old Evie Harper prefers to be in the car with her parents.

Fox 4 first spoke to Evie’s father Jason Harper in September when the Go Fund Me account was created by family friend Tristan Starbird and his working family at Trademark Roofing.

As of Monday, the account raised more than $ 75,000 for the Harper family’s handicapped accessible van.

“When we did it in just over five weeks, I was very excited,” said Starbird.

In September, the Harpers announced to Fox 4 that their traditional Van Evie could not be transported safely because of her Phelan-Mcdermid Syndrome.

A disorder that prevents them from speaking or moving on their own.

On Monday, Jason Harper said the road was wide open.

“To us, it’s like I can’t believe we’re getting out of the house so quickly. We can get out of the house so quickly and have an appointment,” said Harper.

Jason said he’ll always remember the first time he took Evie on a drive in her new van.

“Honestly, I wanted to be a really safe driver, but it was really hard not just to look in the mirror and check her out there because she’s having a really good time,” said Harper.

Now that Evie’s story has been shared, Trademark Roofing has given the green light to help more families here in southwest Florida.

“We started the paperwork for Evie Adapts a 501c3, which we plan to launch in 2022,” said Starbird.

“I mean, we’re happy to say we did this, and we can’t be more grateful, now we’re doing it for some other people,” said Harper.

Starbird says the nonprofit will aim to help other families who also have access and transportation problems.

For the Harpers, it’s a chance to give something back to the community that has already given them so much.

“Maybe a widened door or a ramp to the door can be an accessible shower, a bed, whatever there are some of those little projects that you normally wouldn’t think of because it doesn’t happen to you and this family is where in this situation they don’t know where to turn, “Starbird said.

I think people think there’s no way, I don’t have enough time, I don’t have enough money, we don’t know enough people to make this happen, and we’d like to be able to say, “said Harper.

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