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‘God will know who gave’: City of Greenville police officer raises money for wheelchair-accessible van for student

<i>WYFF</i><br/>A Greenville
A Greenville

By Carlos Cristian Flores

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    GREENVILLE, South Carolina (WYFF) — A Greenville, South Carolina, police officer is raising money to get a wheelchair-accessible van for a student.

Christina Bartolome is a junior at Greenville High School. Bartolome is wheelchair-bound and has a speech disability, but will always find a way to make you smile.

“In spite of her special needs, she is still positive all the time. She’s very eager to learn new activities and new skills and different things,” Christiana’s one-on-one aid, Gwendolyn Blackwell, said.

However, while she makes the most of her situation, it does come with its own challenges.

“When they told me, I was sad. My daughter wanted to walk, but she couldn’t. I was so sad,” Christina’s mom, Juana Bartoloma, said. “I am always with her. If she goes, I go. If she stays, then I stay. I never leave her alone because nothing is more important than her. I love Christina very much.”

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Bartolome has an electric wheelchair at school, but her family has no way to take it home.

That’s when a City of Greenville police officer chose to go beyond the call of duty.

“Officer Reyes decided to reach out to this girl and her family to see what her needs were because he noticed she wasn’t able to take her wheelchair home because they didn’t have the means to take the electric wheelchair home by the extra piece of equipment for their vehicle,” City of Greenville Police Department Public Information Officer Sgt. Johnathan Bragg said.

Officer Reyes created a GoFundMe to help raise money for a wheelchair loader, leaving her family shocked.

“I don’t know where this miracle came from. How they knew my daughter’s condition,” Juana said.

That one act of kindness from a complete stranger will soon allow Christina to continue her path toward independence.

“God bless the people that gave money. I will never see who gave money, but I know God will know who gave,” Juana said.

Reyes said once they reach their goal, they will work toward getting a wheelchair-accessible van.

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