Watertown boy with muscular dystrophy seeks accessible van

Angel Cruz, 14, of Watertown has had his share of battles. He was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at a young age, and a wheelchair accident caused a major health setback. He needs help to get some of his mobility back.

The accident in 2022 made it a lot more difficult for Angel Cruz to get around. The 14-year-old broke several bones and just cannot move like he used to.

His family says an accessible van will give him a little more freedom.

"As a mom, it breaks your heart," said Susana Cruz.

Angel Cruz

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Angel Cruz has been getting around in a wheelchair since he was 10.

"We go every day, and we wake up and don’t know what this disease has done to him," said Susana Cruz.

Despite the terminal illness, Angel Cruz always found a way to still be a kid, playing with his little brother or entertaining himself on his ramp.

"He used to race up and down it so much," said Jacob Donlevy, Angel's stepfather. "It was fun. He can’t do that anymore."

In May 2022, a fall changed everything. Angel broke both of his ankles and his right femur.

Angel Cruz

"You never think about the things you just take for granted until you can’t do them anymore,' said Donlevy.

Things like getting out of the house and going for a drive became a lot more difficult.

"He’s lost a lot of mobility," said Donlevy. "It’s harder for him to move around now. Transferring in and out of a vehicle, it’s too tough for him."

Angel Cruz and his family are looking for a little help, starting a GoFundMe.com account to raise money for an accessible van with a ramp. 

"I like getting out," said Angel Cruz.

Angel dreams of what the accessible van could mean.

"Go outside," said Angel Cruz. "Go watch movies."

Angel Cruz

It's the simple things that he wants back as he tries to enjoy his childhood while he can.

"It’s hard for him," said Susana Cruz. "The only joy he had was taken away with this disease."

The family is trying to raise $25,000. They said an accessible van could cost upwards of $90,000. They said once they buy the van, they will get help modifying it from the county.