Oregon Veterans Foundation donates van to Marine vet with MS: 'It means the world to me'

Ken Swiderski (KATU)

SALEM, Ore. (KATU) – An Oregon veteran received a new set of wheels on Thursday thanks to a generous donation.

Ken Swiderski is a Marine veteran who has multiple sclerosis. He has been in a wheelchair for the last five years, and not having an accessible motor vehicle has hindered his mobility.

The Oregon Veterans Foundation fixed that on Thursday, presenting him with a free handicap-accessible van.

“We’re grateful, simply grateful to be able to give a gift like this,” said Rick Peters, the president of the Oregon Veterans Foundation.

The van was donated months ago by a woman who was dying of cancer. Her wish was that it would go to a disabled veteran who really needed it.

The OVF altered the car so that Swiderski could comfortably use it. He tells us this gift will change his life.

“It means the world to me. Freedoms that I’ve not been able to have for five years now. To be able to hop in a rig, comfortably and go somewhere," Swiderski tells KATU.

One of the best things about the van, he says, is that he can fit his electric mobility device in it.

That means he can drive places like the store and then go shopping with the device, which makes things a lot easier.

This is the first car the Oregon Veterans Foundation has ever donated.

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