ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — As Gabby Kranock, a teen left paralyzed, from the shoulders down, after being hit by an alleged drunk driver, continues to recover from the crash, the community is helping make her journey down the road to recovery a little easier.

“I think the biggest thing is that she has so much life left to live; she’s only 18 years old,” said Kate Glaser, the founder of Hope Rises. “She really is full of life, full of energy, she loves to get out and she loves to explore.”

On Wednesday morning, at West Herr Automotive, local community supporters were aiding her most immediate need. An anonymous donor gave $20,000 towards Hope Rises to help purchase a wheelchair-accessible van, and West Herr has matched that donation.

“It’s so important; she’s only a teenager, so she has the rest of her life to live, and to be able to have a tool able to get her mobile, and for her to be able to experience life. She’s a fighter.” said Glaser.

Hope Rises and West Herr Automotive will be joined by Gabby’s family members, some of her helpers at ECMC, and the Town of Tonawanda Police. Their department is continuing the support for Gabby by selling New Era winter hats for $25, where all proceeds will go towards Gabby’s medical bills.

“It has restored my faith in humanity.” A close family friend of the Kranocks, Christie Reynolds told News 4 about how the community has responded to Gabby’s story, and how much this van will mean to her family.

“She’s confined to her home because she has to have proper transportation to keep her safe while she’s traveling and without that van, she’s been at home,” Reynolds said. “It’s going to give her some freedom and I do believe it’s going to allow her to gain some of her old habits.”

Though the van has been already been purchased and will be given to Gabby’s family on Wednesday, Reynolds continues to collect funds to help Gabby and her family with their medical bills and the journey of recovery.

If you would like to donate towards the GoFundMe for Gabby, click here.

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Hope Winter is a reporter and multimedia journalist who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here.