Reporter: Lauren Compton l Videographer: Jemon Haskins
Lynchburg, VA- Several people in our area are in the running for a life-changing prize. A nonprofit is giving away three custom, wheelchair accessible vehicles. But they need your online votes to win.
For a lot of the contestants, this is the only way they can get a van like this. One contestant priced one of these wheel-chair accessible vans at about $50,000. And some contestants say winning this prize won't just change their lives.
Diabetes took her legs. She has also had two kidney transplants and triple bypass surgery. But Lynch Station resident Robin Vaughan says the hardest thing to lose was her independence.
"It's hard on my mom she can't do all the lifting and pushing. Plus, she has to help me in and out of the car," said Vaughan.
Vaughan says getting in and out of the car is a long and exhausting process for her and her mother.
"It's hard, very hard. If you are slanted on a parking place that kind of goes uphill it's extremely hard," she said.
It's why she took a chance and joined dozens of contestants like Rhonda Adkins vying for a shot at winning this custom wheelchair accessible van, sponsored by the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association.
At a young age, Adkins was a poster child for Muscular Dystrophy, and she has been a crusader for the cause ever since.
"I do a lot of advocating for people with disabilities. It's important for the message to get out there," said Adkins.
But it's hard to do that in her current van. It is equipped with a lift, but Adkins is always afraid of falling and it has no air conditioning. Adkins says the van is also prone to breaking down.
"It let us down one time when were on a trip to Woodrow to get work done on my wheelchair. It's just not dependable," said Adkins.
Time is ticking on this contest as it ends May 13. You can vote online, and you can also vote once a day.
There are about 50 contestants in Virginia, and several are from our viewing area. There are contestants in Galax, Lynch Station, Thaxton, Roanoke, Lexington, Lynchburg, Martinvsille, Halifax, and Farmville.
You can vote here.