Mikey Bonilla, 22, has rarely walked without assistance as he’s battled muscular dystrophy since the age of 2.
Now the Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps (FHVAC) is trying to raise up to $12,000 in funds to get Bonilla a state-of-the-art wheelchair that will allow him to virtually stand and complete a greater range of tasks.
Alan Wolfe, vice president of the FHVAC, said Bonilla’s insurance company will not pay for the wheelchair, so the group is stepping up for Bonilla, whose father, Miguel, is the corps’ training officer.
“[Bonilla] can’t stand up on his own. He needs to have assistance and with him being older and bigger it becomes very difficult for people to help stand him up,” Wolfe said.
The FHVAC is asking for a $50 donation minimum donation at the door for the Nov. 3 #stepupformikey fundraiser at Austin’s Ale House in Kew Gardens. The event will run from 8 to 11 p.m., with an open bar and appetizers served.
“It’s a powered wheelchair that will actually stand him up so that he can do whatever he needs to do: he can bathe, shower, walk around with assistance from the chair,” Wolfe said. “We’re a close-knit family and now we’re coming to help one of our members in his time of need. We ask the public to join us in this effort.”
Wolfe asked that anyone who is not able to attend make a donation over the website the event is posted under, https://squareup.com/store/fhvac/.
Bonilla’s father, also named Mike, also works for the Bronx District Attorney’s office. He’s been a member of FHVAC for 15 years.