When she was 14 years old, Cheryl Angelelli had a dream of swimming in the Olympics.
But one day she walked into swim practice, and never walked out.
While practicing a new racing dive, she broke her neck, and, in an instant, her life changed forever.
“I was determined that my wheelchair was not going to define me, and it hasn’t,” said Angelelli, who has gone on to compete in three Paralympics, won four swimming medals and is currently director of marketing and public relations for DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan. “I lead a very full and active life, and a big part of what makes that possible, is my adapted vehicle.”
The BraunAbility Chrysler Pacifica is the latest vehicle to come from the 45-year partnership between Chrysler and BraunAbility. This new Pacifica features patent-pending AccessAbility™ technology that includes:
– Aerospace-inspired sliding door extension and the industry’s widest side-entry ramp,
– Rear-axle space innovations and cantilevered seat bases that expand interior cabin space, which maximizes space for obstruction-free maneuverability for all sizes and types of wheelchairs.
– To ensure Chrysler integrity and quality, BraunAbility sources its components through the same suppliers and conducts crash- tests to the highest automotive standards.
– These features from BraunAbility are seamlessly integrated into the new Chrysler Pacifica.
Having a vehicle with these capabilities is important for Angelelli, and the 1 in 5 people in the United States who live with some form of disability, including 3.8 million veterans.
“Each and every one of them deserves reliable and accessible transportation,” she said. “Without an accessible vehicle, you wouldn’t be able to get beyond the front door. Life could come to you, but you couldn’t get out there and experience it.”
This Pacifica model is the latest example of how the minivan is the world’s most capable vehicle. Chrysler already offers a gas-powered Pacifica, which can seat up to eight, and the segment’s first hybrid minivan.
“The all-new Chrysler Pacifica is proving to be a lot of things to a lot of people, and now equipped with the BraunAbility technology, it is also the perfect tool to help our customers gain freedom to stay active in their everyday lives,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Car Brands – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA North America.
Additionally, the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan has been added to the list of eligible vehicles in the FCA US LLC Automobility Program, which helps ease the financial burden of drivers and passengers with physical challenges.
FCA US provides a reimbursement up to a maximum of $1,000 to eligible customers who incur out-of-pocket expenses to install qualifying adaptive driver or passenger equipment on a new purchased or leased Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep®, Ram or FIAT vehicle through this program.
There are now 25 vehicles – including the Pacifica – available to be modified with adaptive equipment in the FCA US Automobility Program.
For more information about Automobility, visit www.fcausautomobility.com.