Allegan man donates wheelchair ramp to young girl

Posted at 5:50 PM, May 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-11 17:50:25-04

ALLEGAN COUNTY,Mich.--  A West Michigan man making a huge difference for a five-year-old girl and her family.

Mark Zylema was looking to donate a used wheelchair ramp. Well, after reaching out to FOX 17, he found the perfect little recipient.

After our story aired, Zylema got hundreds of calls about the wheelchair ramp his late brother-in-law used. On Friday, a five-year-old girl and her family are happy he chose them for this gift of independence and mobility.

Willow Creveling has cerebral palsy and can't move on her own. She's getting bigger and carrying her around is getting harder on her family.

"I was crying because lifting her up and down the stairs everyday, she's like 42 pounds now.  I'm so grateful," says Jill Creveling, Willow's Grandma.

For years, this wheelchair ramp helped Zylema's brother-in-law, a Vietnam veteran, get in and out of his home. But when the veteran passed about a year ago, Zylema hoped the ramp would help make life easier for someone else.

"I really wanted it to help somebody in need and the money would've been useful, but I'm sure that the gal that receives this will appreciate it and I'd rather have somebody to be able to enjoy life a little better than money. The money ain't really a factor part of it. I just try to do a good deed and actually looks like I did one," says Zylema.

These ramps aren't cheap, wheelchair ramps can cost hundreds of dollars, something the Creveling family says they just don't have.

"They're like $600-$700 for a wooden one, something we can't afford," says Willow's grandma.

Both families say they are happy that the ramp will go to a little girl who really needs it.

"She's going to have a way to get in and out of her house a lot better, because they never had anything like this and it's just a Godsend that it was able to turn out like it did," Zylema.

"She deserves it and it'll make it a lot easier for her getting up and down in the house and she works really hard," says Nathan Creveling, Willow's Dad.

Zylema says he'll help install the ramp at its new home in Grand Rapids, getting Willow up and going sooner, rather than later.