John and Laura Woods are pictured with their boys Lucas, Liam and Brody. A fundraiser takes place May 27 to help raise funds for them to purchase a wheelchair-accessible van. Submitted photo

Fundraiser planned for Abbotsford family

Couple needs wheelchair-accessible van for two sons

A fundraiser takes place in Abbotsford on Saturday, May 27 to raise funds for a family who needs a special van to accommodate wheelchairs for two of their sons.

John and Laura Woods have three boys – Lucas, 6, Liam, 4, and one-year-old Brody.

While Liam is able-bodied, his brothers live with Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease (PMD), a rare central nervous system disorder that affects coordination, motor abilities and intellectual function.

When Lucas was born in 2011, everything seemed fine but, as he grew, he wasn’t reaching the typical milestones that most children reach.

He wasn’t diagnosed until after his second birthday, after Liam was born.

Last year, When Laura was pregnant with Brody, she underwent testing and it was confirmed at 14 weeks gestation that he would also have PMD.

Knowing what this meant for them as a family was overwhelming, but they love their children and want to do everything they can to give each of their sons a good life.

“Our boys have taught us to be patient and not to judge other people’s circumstances because we don’t know what they’re going through,” Laura says.

While this positive outlook has been helpful, the realities of caring for two children with special needs are challenging.

Lucas needs a wheelchair to get around, and they know that Brody will also need one in the future.

If they want to travel together as a family, they are going to need a van that can accommodate two wheelchairs, but a base model can cost up to $50,000.

A Burger and Brew night is being planned on Saturday, May 27 at Finnegan’s Pub (33780 King Rd.). Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at the door.

The evening will include a 50/50 draw, door prizes and a silent auction.

Businesses or individuals who would like to contribute items for prizes can contact Laura by emailing laurapearce@live.ca.

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