Dear Mr van Mullekom, I have a life threatening muscle wasting condition called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), which places severe restrictions on my body, limiting my ability to perform many physical tasks. Despite my disability, I live a very active life with a hectic day to day schedule. I am a full-time student and recently completed my Bachelor of Biomedicine Honours degree at The University of Melbourne. I plan to study on and pursue a full-time PhD at the same university beginning from 2015. Until present, I have relied on Maxi Taxis for all my conveyance including travel to university, trips to medical appointments, and trips to recreational events such football matches, sporting events, movies and restaurants. As anyone who has relied on Maxi Taxis would tell you, it can be extremely frustrating having to plan all trips in advance around cab drop off and pick-up times. This makes it hard to have fun and enjoy memorable events. But worst of all, taxis are not reliable and sometimes it can be a long wait for one to arrive (up to an hour or more during peak times!). Occasionally, I have altogether missed lectures, medical appointments and other events because of reliance on taxis. After saving up for several years, in August 2014, I finally had enough funds to purchase a Kia Grand Carnival S. As soon as I got the car, me and my parents started discussions with several companies regarding modifying the vehicle for wheelchair access. Following a vehicle demonstration at our place from Freedom Motors State Manager of Victoria Mrs. Peggy Hertog, the decision was not hard. Peggy was very friendly and patiently explained all the features and options available with Freedom conversion. In my opinion, her personal touch clearly distinguished Freedom Motors from other companies. Above all, Peggy was always accessible via email and phone to answer all our queries. We opted for the Freedom family conversion as it was most suitable to our needs. In September 2014, our car was transported to St Marys, NSW for the conversion courtesy of Freedom Motors at no extra cost to us. The converted vehicle was delivered to us in early November. Although, I admit the conversion takes quite a bit of time, when you see quality of the end product, it is well worth the wait. The compact and lightweight manual rear ramp opens up with minimal effort. The electric restraints retract and lock my electric wheelchair in position as I move up the ramp onto the lowered floor. Within two minutes, I am securely tied down and all set to move about on the roads. With close proximity to the driver and other passengers, I can more actively participate in family discussions. The unobtrusive vision enables me to enjoy the scenic beauty while travelling. Best of all, I no longer need to rely on taxis and can move about at my convenience. Over the next few months I plan to travel Australia in my newly modified Kia Grand Carnival. For anyone who is considering a vehicle modification, I will highly recommend Freedom Motors. The expertise of their engineers and technicians and the friendly customer service are commendable.
Savant Thakur, St. Albans, VIC