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WASHINGTON, Mo. – A Marthasville family and a special young lady received a huge gift from Variety the Children’s Charity that will make going out a lot easier. 

Cassie’s father, James Killmade, said his daughter is the sweetest girl in the world and is always in a good mood. 

Getting Cassie Killmade in and out of their family vehicle used to be a challenge with a pickup truck they used to haul her motorized wheelchair. 

“Trying to pick up a full-sized adult and lift her into a vehicle was beginning to become a bit of a challenge,” said Killmade. 

Cassie is turning 21 and this is her final departing gift from Variety. This is the last thing they can do to set her up. She has 9 siblings, so this van will provide a lot of independence and freedom for her.

“When you think about just going to the store or going out to a movie. Going anywhere. Instead of being a big production, having a fully accessible van with an automatic ramp makes it just so much easier,” said Brian Roy, Executive Director of Variety the Children’s Charity. 

This $60,000 gift came at a perfect time. Cassie’s parents were already shopping for a van back in the spring when their other one died. 

“And we were about to finish up on the loan process for a new van when Robin called with this amazing news. It was incredible,” said Killmade. 

Variety the Children’s Charity loves helping families like Cassie’s. They realize the financial strain having a child with special needs can cause. 

“It costs $30,000 a year to have a child with special needs. When you think about the therapy, the extra care, the equipment, and that’s like buying a new car every single year,“ Roy said. 

As Cassie continues into adulthood, her journey will be made that much easier.