Alberto Cruz is a 15-year-old from Willmantic, Conn and was the victim of an unfortunate accident. Due to a freak surfing accident that occurred at Narragansett Beach in Rhode Island, he is paralyzed from the shoulders down.
A major issue that the Cruz family encountered was that their car was unable to accommodate the specialized wheelchair that Alberto required. That meant that the only way he could travel to school was in a box truck with his wheelchair tied to the floor with ropes while a family member held on tightly to keep the chair from moving.
Here’s the good news of the story. Alberto stayed strong with what happened to him and didn’t give up on his schooling when forced into exhausting therapy sessions. His teacher, Lynn Fraizer, recognized the strength he was showing and nominated him as a “Local Hero.” The community voted for him in droves and helped him become one of three national winners of a “Local Heroes” contest that was looking to reward three people with new wheelchair-accessible vehicles.
Chrysler Group presented Alberto with a brand new 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan specially designed to support his wheelchair. The event had him surrounded by his family, friends, teachers, and even the cheerleader squad came out to help celebrate. Alberto was able to easily get into the Grand Caravan with the use of the a rear ramp that was made by Braunability and Ride-Away.
With the ability to finally be able to provide Alberto transportation to anywhere along with themselves, the family made their first stop following the festivities. Where did they go? To a Chinese buffet, Alberto’s favorite restaurant.
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