With the assistance of Iowa Able, the lives of Denise Hudgell and her 12-year-old son, Aidan, have been changedfor the better. Aidan is epileptic and has Juvenile Huntington’s Disease (JHD), a rare neurological illness that has no cure. He has been wheel and bedbound since February 2017 and was unable to travel easily until an Iowa Able loan afforded the Hudgell’s a wheelchair-accessible van.
“I am now able to take Aidan to his doctor appointments, on rides around town and to his favorite places, like the zoo and Durham Western Heritage Museum,” said Denise. “We no longer have to go by ambulance or a medical van. It’s wonderful!”
A couple months ago, Denise and Aidan drove from Wisconsin to Council Bluffs to meet some friends that Denise met on an online JHD community for the first time. They went to the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo, one of Aidan’s favorite places that he hadn’t been able to travel to until they got their van.
Now, Aidan asks all the time to go for a ride in his van. He loves to look at all of the things around him – things that many of us take for granted: the birds, the trees, the sky, the rain. Aidan tells Denise when to slow down for yellow lights, when to stop for red lights and when she can go for green lights. He makes sure that every time they get out of the van that the windows are rolled up and doors are locked. There are two caregiver seats on each side of Aidan, so people can sit right next to him, which he loves. “We are so grateful for this opportunity that was made possible by Iowa Able,” said Denise.