Mike Greene is an Oklahoma City police officer who often sees people at their worst. The gift of the van has lifted his spirits.
It also has affected others. Macie's Facebook page has more than 3,000 likes, and when the news of the van was announced, hundreds posted celebratory messages.
“To know there was another couple out there that lives in this city that could go off and buy a van for us that was needed so badly has been an inspiration to us and so many other people,” Mike Greene said.
The Greenes are encouraging those who voted for Macie to choose someone else in the contest and vote for them. The contest ends May 10, and three vans will be given away.
“I think we had a good shot to win,” Brenda Greene said. “Now, with this gift to us, this couple may have helped someone else win.”
Monday, the family went to dinner at Johnny Carino's, and for once it wasn't a full production. Instead of having to be broken down into pieces, Macie's wheelchair rolls easily into the van by way of a motorized ramp.
Besides making their daily life easier, the van opens up possibilities for the Greenes to spend more time together as a family.
“Going on vacations for us is pretty complicated,” Brenda Greene said. “Flying is nearly impossible. For us, traveling is by car.”
The experience has allowed the Greenes to be more open about their daughter's condition and what it is like to parent a daughter with special needs. Both said the scariest part of entering the contest was exposing their lives to strangers. Now they're glad they did.