For the first time Saturday a family got a tour around their brand new van.
That’s according to Fox 16, a Hot Springs Daily news content partner.
It’s not just any van, it’s specially outfitted to transport people like six-year-old Ali Vise.
Ali suffers from Batten disease, a fatal disorder that began taking it’s toll around her fourth birthday.
“Ali used to be able to walk and talk and play, but this disease has robbed her of all her abilities,” said Ali’s mother Donya Catlett.
That makes getting around to doctor visits or anywhere else difficult. Looking for support, her mother started a Facebook page and entered into contests that grant wishes to families like theirs.
Ali was a finalist twice but after a year the family still lacked a safe way to get her around.
“I just knew it was going to happen,” Catlett said.
Finally, it did.
“A man out of Las Vegas called and saw her story and wanted to donate his handicap van to her for Christmas,” Catlett explained. “Mr. G is what we call him because he wants to remain anonymous.”
Supporters donated money so family friends could fly out to Las Vegas and drive the van back.
The folks at Orr Cadillac in Hot Springs put on the finishing touches.
And Saturday Ali’s mom fired the up the van for the first time — just after supporters released balloons into the air christening the family’s new-found freedom.
“It’s a miracle and I cannot thank everybody enough,” Catlett said just before driving off.
Aside from getting Ali to all her doctors visits, her family says they plan to hit the road spreading the word about Batten disease and creating some last memories in the process.