Contest for new mobility van means you can make a difference - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Contest for new mobility van means you can make a difference

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Jimmy Cook Jimmy Cook
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

With key in hand, Mitzi Cook cranks up and slowly backs out a modified wheelchair van her husband Jimmy used to get around in. It's dependable most of the time, but sometimes it behaves like it's worn out.

The Dodge Ram is 24 years old and is saddled down with well over 100,000 miles.

"With it breaking down, he can't just ride in any vehicle," Mrs. Cook explains.

"When I bought it, I knew it was old, but I thought it would suffice," Jimmy admits.

Mr. Cook has been struggling with a form of Muscular Dystrophy since 1988. "It's a genetic disease," he said from his wheelchair at home in Deatsville.

But life for the Cooks could get a little better if they had a new van. That's why they're keeping their fingers crossed in the national Muscular Dystrophy's Mobility Awareness contest. MDA is just weeks away from giving out four brand new wheelchair accessibility vans.

"I've been voting at least once a day and so has my wife," Jimmy says.

You have a chance to help make it happen for the Cooks.

Mrs. Cook thinks it's a longshot because the contest is nationwide. They will know by the end of May if they won.

"You have so many hurting people out there and it's not just for those with Muscular Dystrophy," she said. The website lists more than 60 people in Alabama alone who are vying for the same prize.

Meantime, Mr. Cook has found a job which has gone a long way in lifting his spirits, winning a new ride would make them soar.

"It's never actually quit on us until here lately," he says.

For now, Mitzi and Jimmy make do with what they have and hope their old trusty friend can last a few more miles.

"I've learned through all of this you can't give up," said Mrs. Cook.

 

ON THE WEB: http://www.mobilityawarenessmonth.com/local-heroes/

You can look through each contestant's profile, read their story, and vote until May 11.

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