One Family, Two Life-Changing Experiences
April 19, 2021
Charity Riders Scott and Lynn Grant detail life with a disabled child and how Victory Junction helped them.
Fourteen years ago, life changed unexpectedly for Charity Riders Scott and Lynn Grant. It was summertime in Florida and Lynn was taking their two daughters, Shannon and Hannah, to a birthday party. They were stopped at a red light and were third in the line of cars waiting for it to turn green. Once the light changed, the first two cars safely passed through the intersection with no problem. But as Lynn made her way through, she was struck by another driver – who was suspected to have been texting at the time. The other driver never even hit her brakes and T-boned Lynn’s car.
Other than a few scrapes, Lynn and Shannon were okay. However, Hannah’s life
would never be the same. She was unconscious on the scene of the accident and
was rushed to a trauma center to be stabilized before being airlifted to Tampa for
further treatment. As a result of the accident, Hannah suffered a traumatic brain injury
caused by the motion of the car being hit – and it left her highly disabled.
Prior to the accident, Hannah was a fun-loving six-year-old. She enjoyed art and
dance classes and making videos with her older sister. According to her dad, “she
was one of those girls who jumped up to comfort someone if they were down, doing
whatever she could to help make them feel warm and fuzzy.” Now, 14 years later,
Hannah has not made a single noise – no crying, no laughter, nothing – since the
accident. She can’t hold her head up and has to eat through a feeding tube. She is
100 percent dependent on others.
The driver who caused Hannah’s accident had minimal insurance, so the Grant’s
received a small payout that didn’t even cover the helicopter bill for airlifting Hannah
to the hospital – let alone help provide the medical care she needs for the remainder
of her life. But lucky for her, she has a family and huge community of supporters who
love her, including one generous businessman who created a fundraiser just for Hannah. As the owner of several car dealerships, Scott frequently buys and sells vehicles at a local Manheim Auto Auction in Fort Myers, Florida. The General Manager of the Manheim Fort Myers Auto Auction heard about Hannah’s story and started a charity golf tournament to raise money for her medical needs.
Knowing Scott was an avid motorcyclist, that same General Manager invited Scott and Lynn to participate in the Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America – which Manheim was the presenting sponsor for at the time. Manheim sponsored Scott and Lynn’s participation on their first Ride in 2016 and they have been back every year since. If you ask them, the friends they have made on the Ride are some of the most incredibly thoughtful people they have ever met. “They are friends who check in on us and pray for us,” said Scott. “We can’t tell you enough about how much that touches our hearts.”
After their first year on the Ride, Scott and Lynn knew they wanted to take Hannah to Victory Junction. And in 2017, Lynn and Hannah were able to attend Camp for a family weekend where they had another life-changing experience. From archery and fishing to horseback riding, Hannah got to do so many incredible activities that she would not have been able to do without the resources provided at Victory Junction.
As a parent of a Camper, Lynn was amazed by how easy Victory Junction
makes it for the families. “There wasn’t anything we had to bring or do that
wasn’t already provided for Hannah at Victory Junction,” said Lynn. “And the
adaptive equipment that Hannah used to be able to do the activities was
simply amazing.” Now, thanks to what they learned at Camp, Hannah has
continued doing some of the activities at home with the help of her family.
“Fishing is currently her passion and favorite thing to do,” said Lynn. “It
provides her the satisfaction of still being able to do something that she used
to do as a child before her accident.”
Q+A with Scott + Lynn Grant:
1. What kind of things does Hannah like to do?
Lynn: Hannah communicates through a computer that uses eye gaze to allow her to use
the cursor on the monitor to select words and phrases. She can also go online to browse
social media, watch YouTube videos, etc. Her favorite videos to watch on YouTube are
Carpool Karaoke episodes from James Corden, clips from Jimmy Fallon and Steven
Colbert, and funny animal videos. She navigates the device entirely on her own. She uses
that thing like nobody’s business! She’s even befriended some of the Charity Riders on
Scott: We recently had a custom sidecar made for Hannah to sit in so she can go on short
rides with us. She loves it!
2. How long have you been riding motorcycles?
Scott: I’ve been riding since I was 8 years old…and now I’m 53 years old, so it’s been a long time!
Lynn: I grew up riding on the back of my brother’s dirt bikes, so they’ve always been in my life.
3. If you were to describe VJ in one word, what would you say?
Scott: I can’t choose just one word. It’s a safe haven for a special needs child.
4. What has been your favorite route ridden on the Ride?
Lynn: We both loved the 2017 Ride from Portland, OR to Milwaukee, WI. It was our first time riding the Pacific Northwest and we thoroughly enjoyed riding through Yellowstone and seeing how diverse the terrain was along the route.
5. What is your favorite thing about the Ride?
Lynn: It’s a vacation for us. Our whole lives are dedicated to caretaking and running a business. We make decisions and plans for everything in our daily lives. When we’re on the Ride, it’s so nice to just enjoy the time where we don’t have to think about where we’re going or what’s going to happen that day. We just get on the bike and go.
Scott: And, it’s drama-free! It’s pretty much everyone extending their hand and making you feel welcome.