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Local girl with extremely rare condition receives custom wheelchair

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POCATELLO — It was all smiles, tears and laughter Tuesday when Isabelle Lopez was presented with a custom-made electric wheelchair.

Julie Lopez, Isabelle’s mother, says, “It’s humbling really to have so many people give what is ultimately part of their life to help my daughter and, I just, I am so grateful.”

9-year old Isabelle has a condition called Bohring Opitz Sydrome. According to the Bohring Opitz Sydrome Foundation, there are fewer than 80 cases in the world.

The condition causes a severe intellectual disability and developmental delay.

Julie says, “It’s been kind of a rough ride, but she is a trooper, and she just has the most amazing fighting spirit and has just really been an inspiration to our family.”

Julie and her husband got Isabelle’s diagnosis two years ago. Before that, they flew around the country looking for answers.

Julie said, “To not know what their diagnosis is, you feel like every step you make there could be a land mine that you didn’t know about.”

Things got easier with Isabelle’s diagnosis, but her parents wanted her to have more independence.

That’s where the Veteran’s Mobility Corporation came in. The organization is a non-profit that builds custom electric chairs for veterans and their families free of charge. Isabelle’s grandfather is a Vietnam veteran.

Frank Smith, who started the Veteran’s Mobility Corp., said, “There’s no better feeling, I mean, you couldn’t get any better reward than the smile on these people’s faces. You’re giving them mobility that they didn’t have before.”

Isabelle’s parents are grateful for the time they’ve had with Isabelle.

Julie says,”We’ve been very, very lucky. She’s 9 years-old and she’s doing very well, and we have a lot of hope for the future.”

The Veteran’s Mobility Corp. has given away 177 chairs in the past two years, and all the manual labor is done by volunteers. They welcome monetary donations and wheelchair donations.

You can visit their website at information@vmc.us.com or call them at (208) 351-2967.

This story originally appeared on KPVI. It is posted here with permission.

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