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Outpouring of Support for Community Advocate with Paralysis

Emily Progin, PR and Communications Coordinator / 800.642.8399

Release: Immediate


Determined and Passionate, Tina Pedersen Needs a Wheelchair Van to Keep Giving Back

PROVIDENCE, R.I.Throughout this generous holiday season and on December 6 in Providence, the community will come together to support an exceptional local cause. A fundraising campaign will help Tina Pedersen, a dedicated community activist who is living with paralysis from the waist down, to fund a critical need: an accessible van so she can keep giving back.

December 6 Fundraiser Details:

  • Tuesday, December 6 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Yoleni’s (292 Westminster Street, Providence, RI, 02903)
  • Cash bar, appetizers, and special events!
  • All funds raised benefit the nonprofit Help Hope Live in Tina’s honor

Tina’s Story and Online Donations:

Online donations can be made at any time at:

Tina is a 50-year-old resident of Burrillville who has overcome exceptional odds to be the powerful and compassionate community figure she is today. She has lived through four cancer diagnoses, and in 2014, she experienced a spinal stroke during a minor surgery that left her with paralysis from the waist down.

“My health issues didn’t stop me,” explained Tina. “Instead, I persevered and learned to navigate my world with a positive attitude, and today, I devote myself to helping others by raising awareness of accessibility for all.”

Tina’s critical work in the community includes talking to audiences ranging from schoolchildren to businesses and first responders about disabilities, access, communication, and more. She sits on the governor’s commission on disability and is the first person with a disability to win a national title as a USA Ambassador, a community service-based title. Tina has engaged in over 4,735 hours of community service to date.

“Community service is part of my DNA,” she explained. “It’s who I am at the very core, and it’s the person I want to be.”

Now that Tina has a national platform with which to share her compassion and her vision of a more inclusive future, she needs reliable transportation to fuel her work in the community. Insurance won’t cover the cost of a van, and there is only one wheelchair accessible taxi in the entire state of Rhode Island.

To bring an accessible van within reach, Tina and her loved ones started a fundraising campaign with the trusted national nonprofit Help Hope Live. Unlike a GoFundMe campaign, donations in Tina’s honor are tax deductible and won’t jeopardize her benefits. The nonprofit manages all funds raised, directly pays only verified medical expenses, and verifies Tina’s medical need.

“Donations will allow me to continue my work,” said Tina, “from speaking engagements to commission missions and so much more to make our state and beyond fully accessible.”

Donate at:

Help Hope Live is a national nonprofit that specializes in engaging communities in secure, tax-deductible fundraising campaigns for people who need a transplant or are affected by a catastrophic injury or illness. Since 1983, campaigns organized by Help Hope Live have raised over $165 million to pay patient expenses. ###

Written by Emily Progin