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PARK COUNTY, Colo. -- A woman who lost her home in a fire wanted to make new memories with her family by going camping, but she didn't think it was possible.
Kristen Bering lost her home when a fire tore through the Westbury Apartments in July 2018. Bering lived at a motel until she could find a new apartment. She is living with end-stage kidney disease and the van she was using to get around wasn't handicap-accessible. The van was also in bad shape and costly repairs were needed.
When Denver7 interviewed Bering in the spring, she said if she had a new van, the first thing she would do is drive it to the mountains and take her son camping. Contact7 Gives helped make that dream possible through the generosity of viewers.
Donations started coming in after a story about Bering's need for a new handicap accessible van. Denver7 was able to surprise her with a new van in August thanks to those donations and partnerships with the Colorado Independent Auto Dealers Charity Fund.
There was one more surprise for Bering. Wilderness on Wheels, a handicap-accessible campground, wanted to donate a two-night stay on their grounds.
"I didn’t think that we were going to go camping with the van that I had, it just wasn’t going to make it. We didn’t have the funds for it and you guys made it possible," said Bering.
As the aspen trees began to change, Bering and her family headed up to the mountains for the special trip in their new van.
Bering said the best part about the trip was being able to take in all the views from a handicap-accessible boardwalk that runs throughout the property. She is also enjoying playing cards and making s'mores with her family – all the normal camping activities.
"It is peaceful and just breathtaking and beautiful. It’s amazing up here," Bering said. "It’s like I’m not handicapped up here. There’s trails; I can take walks wherever I want to go."
Barbara Cramer with Wilderness on Wheels said she didn't hesitate to donate the trip after hearing Bering's story. She said she is happy to see the family having such a good time.
"It’s just such a great opportunity for them to come out and enjoy the wilderness, and the cabin is completely accessible for her and it’s awesome," said Cramer.
Denver7 has created an easy way for people to help others in our community. We have featured the stories of people who need help and now you help them with a cash donation through the Contact7 Gives Fund. One hundred percent of contributions to the fund will be used to help people in our local community.