Valley family hoping to improve son's life with new van

FRESNO, Calif.

Micah Coombs, 4, has Cerebral Palsy - a condition that causes physical disability and keeps him in a wheelchair. Loading him in and out of the family van is a daily struggle. "Just on Monday, I actually threw my back out getting out of a chair with him," said Micah's adoptive father, Randy Coombs.

The family tried to change that when they entered a national contest to win a wheelchair accessible van worth thousands of dollars. But they fell short of votes needed to quality. "It was disappointing," said Monica Coombs, Micah's mom.

But its Micah's story of survival that keeps the family fighting. Randy and Monica adopted Micah from Ethiopia where we was abandoned as a toddler. "He was found on the side of a freeway. So it was a pretty severe situation," said Monica.

And just as he was given a second chance at life, so has the Coombs family. "We got a call from the Central Valley Regional Center saying they would contribute a large amount to his van, but we had to use it by June 30th," said Monica. Now it's a race against time as the family scrambles to raise the rest of the money needed to purchase a mobility van that will make life a little easier.

"The floor has been lowered to give the person in the wheelchair the access of getting into the vehicle without lowering their head down and getting in," said Jerry Johnson, general manager at Mobility Works, where adaptive vehicles are sold.

The Coombs family has already received a handful of donations and even supplies from the community to hold a yard sale. But they still need to raise thousands of dollars and the clock is ticking. "We obviously aren't going to let all of these grants and all of this money just slip away," said Monica.

In order to qualify for the grant money, the family needs to raise the remaining amount by mid-June.

To get more information on how to help the Coombs family purchase a wheelchair accessible van, contact Monica and Randy at:

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