This past week, Toyota, in cooperation with The Braun Corporation, donated a 2011 Toyota Sienna to newlywed Rachelle Friedman, a 23-year-old who was paralyzed as a result of an accident during her bachelorette party in the spring of 2010.

"We were so moved by her story that we wanted to help her not only while she planned for her wedding, but also as she moves forward in her married life," said Nick Gutwein, President of Braun.

The Braun Corporation, the world's largest manufacturer of wheelchair accessible vans and lifts, equipped the new Toyota Sienna with their BraunAbility Rampvan XT conversion. Featuring an automatic foldout or in-floor ramp, removable front seats and a lowered floor for more interior headroom, the BraunAbility conversion adds all the convenience features owners will want or need.

Rachelle Friedman and her fiancÚ, Chris Chapman, had been using a similarly equipped loaned vehicle throughout their wedding planning and her rehabilitation sessions, but prior to the loaner, Rachelle's mother had been carrying her in and out of the family SUV.

On the Toyota Sienna's future impact, Rachelle says, "The van's made all the difference in the world. Not only has it saved my mom's back, it's just made it so much easier to get out and do things. I've missed this level of comfort, convenience and independence."

So, what's next for the newlyweds? According to Rachelle, "Next up...learning to drive on my own!"

author photo

Sean Mount works in the financial services industry during the week and hits the track in his BMW M3 on the weekends. When he isn't reading and watching everything automotive related, he can be found playing around with his Border Collie, Guinness.

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