Cops On TikTok? Hear How They Helped A Family Buy A Wheelchair-Friendly Van For Their Daughter
Thanks to the officers' efforts on social media, and the help of some generous donors, the family is getting a vehicle that's just right for their daughter's needs.
Emmri Tullis is like a lot of nine-year-old girls. She loves animals, watching scary movies and her one-year-old brother annoys her from time to time.
Sadly, Emmri was born with cytomegalovirus (CMV). While CMV is actually quite common (it's related to the virus that causes chicken pox, herpes and mononucleosis), it can lead to severe complications in infants.
Due to the virus, Emmri lacks most of the muscle control in her body, although she has the ability to make facial expressions. She has epilepsy, microcephaly and cerebral palsy, making it impossible for her to walk without a wheelchair.
While her disability has made travel difficult, Emmri has dreams of seeing new places and going to visit her cousins. Her family has been saving up to buy a van that can accommodate her wheelchair, but due to the high cost they still have a lot of saving to do.
That is, until a few social-media savvy cops stepped up to help.
While Emmri (pictured here with her younger brother Bennett) loves to travel, she's mostly stuck at home due to her disability. The Bankers/Facebook
"She's outlived everybody's guidelines and expectations," Emmri's mother Chelsey told the Battle Creek Enquirer. "She's proven everybody wrong and they don't want to put a timeline on it, so that's why it's day-to-day. That's why getting this van was so important to us, because for the last two years, we haven't really been able to take her out and about much and she loves to travel."
Thanks to the TikTok contest and donations from others in the community, Emmri will get to travel in a wheelchair-accessible van. The Bankers/Facebook
When Chelsey heard about the "You Say Car" contest that was being promoted on TikTok by two North Carolina police officers, she entered right away.
Officers Kevin Eudy and Josh Scales of the Wingate Police Department started the fundraiser to provide at least one family with a car and a year's worth of insurance. Once they narrowed the contest down to a few finalists (including Emmri), followers were able to vote for the candidate they felt was most deserving.
Both Scales and Eudy have impressive social media followings, and with projects like "You Say Car," they're hoping to get rid of the negative stereotypes that often come along with being a police officer.
"(Scales) and I kind of started the social media thing to show a different side of law enforcement," Eudy said. "He had an idea, where we say, 'Yes we're cops, but we love you.' I like that. I was praying about it, what we can do about it to promote real change."
While Emmri's family received $18,500 from the fundraiser, that still left them needing a large amount of money to finance the van. But, thanks to a fundraiser started by the family at the beginning of the month, they've been able to raise the rest of the cash to buy the car.
Chelsey posted a video to her TikTok account describing what the family's new van will look like. www.tiktok.com
"There are no words to describe how grateful we are, but you all just changed Emmri's quality of life in ways we can't even begin to explain," Chelsey wrote on the GoFundMe page. "She will have so many more amazing memories, and this is going to make getting her the medical care she needs SO much easier on her little body. From the bottom of our hearts, thank YOU!"
We love this story of a community coming together to help a family get the resources they need to help their daughter live a fuller life. We're sure they'll never forget the kindness of the officers and the generous donors who made their dream come true!