Breaking News
More () »

Ottawa County grandpa rides 500 miles raising money for granddaughter's van

8-year-old Enna Groot, who has spina bifida, needs a wheelchair-accessible van. Now, her friends and family are stepping up to help out.

HUDSONVILLE, Mich. — Enna Groot has become a pro at getting out of her wheelchair, and into her bicycle.

Bike rides are one of her favorite things to do with her Grandpa Bob.

But that's only one of many activities she's mastered.

"Swimming, riding my bike, baseball and I might play soccer," said Enna.

Enna has spina bifida, a condition that has impacted her spine, making mobility something she's had to overcome, according to her parents Nycki and Jordan.

"A lot of it is getting around and going place to place," said Jordan. "Right now, Nycki, whenever she takes her to a doctor's appointment or to something, she has to get her in the wheelchair, haul her up, get her in the van and then haul her out."

Now, the Groot family is looking to make getting around a little easier. Friends and family are trying to raise $70,000 for a wheelchair-accessible van.

"That's one of the things with the van too is, you know, we're looking too for her independence in the future too," said Jordan. "So eventually, you know, truly Enna's Van we want this to become her van someday and to, you know, help her with her independence and everything too."

Enna's grandpa did his part last week to help with some of the fundraising.

"We took the RAGBRAI ride, which is an annual ride across Iowa, they always start on the west side of Iowa go all the way across the state," said Bob Groot.

Bob rode 500 miles from Sioux City, Iowa to Davenport, Iowa, raising money for Enna's van.

"It was truly on my heart early in the year to use the bike ride as a fundraiser and you know, it's one of those things that we never know where it all turns out and so forth," said Bob, describing why he wanted to do the ride. "But again, it's been amazing how much support we've had. And we're just extremely thankful."

The Groot family is hopeful that a new van can help Enna have more experiences with those she loves.

"That's ultimately our goal is for her future and to get her, you know, set up so she doesn't need us to go drive around and go to either appointments or just go have fun with her friends," said Nycki.

You can find the family's GoFundMe for Enna's van here.

Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.

Have a news tip? Email news@13onyourside.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter. Subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Watch 13 ON YOUR SIDE for free on Roku, Amazon Fire TV Stick, and on your phone. 

Before You Leave, Check This Out