Keep Barry Elbasani Driving4Independence

For: Barry Elbasani
Lee's Summit, MO
Organizer: Jeremy Radford
of $40,000 goal.
Raised by 111 donors
34% Complete
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The Story

My lifelong friend, is well known throughout the community for helping others.

But right now . . . he needs our help.

Barry Elbasani is a doer, a leader, a go-getter and he always has been. That was not changed by his spinal cord injury in 2002, then 28 years old. With no use of his legs and limited use of his arms, Barry is driven to make a difference in the world.

Shortly after his rehabilitation he founded the not-for-profit foundation, Focus on Independence, whose mission was to deliver Lasik eye surgery free of charge to people who had lost the use of their arms from an injury or illness.  To date over 100 people have benefited from the program.  Barry later earned a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Administration and began his career with the State of Missouri where his calling to inspire and help others to strive to reach their independent living potential has become his profession.  Personally, Barry models independent living; he purchased his own home and lives independently with the assistance of his caregivers, family and adaptive technology. Barry's active lifestyle is primarily achieved through the use of his chair and his van, fully customized for him to drive.

14 years in service, his chair and van are due for replacement. Having logged over 102,000 miles over that time frame, all of the modifying equipment is out of warranty.  Just recently, a computer issue caused the braking system to momentarily fail while on the road.  Due to the changes in Barry's body over the past decade and his set positioning in the van, driving is now causing pain in his shoulders and arms.  A new vehicle is an urgent priority!  

There are many details that have been set in motion, which Barry is managing, to select, purchase, modify, and acquire the training to use this new vehicle before year-end.  The significant funding to pay for the modifications to the vehicle, the new chair, and the training to transition to the new vehicle have all been approved.  However, the actual purchase of the conversion ready vehicle is totally Barry's financial responsibility. The cost of this van will run between $32,000 - 40,000.  My wish is that this fundraiser would totally cover the cost for him, but I humbly ask on his behalf, for whatever we all can scrape together to show him we've got his back on this one.

I thank you for your generosity. God Bless you all!

PS: I mentioned that Barry and I have been lifelong friends. In the photo gallery there are two pictures of us; one at age 5 and the other a couple years back at his 40th Birthday Bash.  Thinking back on all the memories we have made over those years, Michael W. Smith's song "Friends" often comes to mind.  Sing it with me  . . .

---And friends are friends forever . . . If the Lord's the Lord of them
--------And a friend will not say "Never" . . . Cause the welcome will not end
-------------In the Father's hands we know . . . That a lifetime's not too long
-------------------------------------------To live as friends

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on November 9, 2016

Posted on November 9, 2016

On a day where we need to look for and find what unites us, I'm proud and thankful for the generosity and the Can-Do attitude that has lifted my spirit many times this past month. In that time, 100 people have joined my quest to help a friend in need with an average donation of $125. That is amazing, and it is what makes communities like ours great!

With 7 days left in fundraising campaign, join me in this final push. Together let's #KeepBarryDriving4Independence !

With your donation or sharing of our story, join me and cast your vote #4Barry!

Thank you! And God bless!

Posted on November 3, 2016

Posted on November 3, 2016

Wow! We have blown past the 25% mark and soon will have a third of the goal accomplished!  Thank to all those who have donated and shared our story you are the angels among us!

With less than 2 week left until the deadline we set when we started this project, we still have a ways to go.  Barry will be meeting again soon to make the final selections and ordering the van.  Then it will get shipped off to have the custom modifications made to fit him and his new chair.  This replacement is overdue and will allow Barry to continue to commute to and from his office, as well as get to work and social events safely and more comfortably.  Every bit counts, again thank you! [Remember these donations will be used only for the purchase to the new van - not the modifications, or his new chair]

Oh I believe there are, angels among us
Sent down to us, from somewhere up above
They come to you and me, in our darkest hours
To show us how to live, to teach us how to give
To guide us with the light of love

Posted on October 26, 2016

Posted on October 26, 2016

The #KeepBarryDriving4Independence project garnered the attention of the local news team at Fox4!
watch the piece here

  • What would you do if I sang out tune,
  • Would you stand up and walk out on me?
  • Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song,
  • And I'll try not to sing out of key.
  • I get by with a little help my friends.

Thank you for being a part of our story!

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