By Judith Salkin
Even in the midst of the desert’s busy music festival season, the drivers at Yellow Cab of the Desert are quick to provide a helping hand whenever they can.
In the case of little Shelby Huerta, a four-year-old Palm Desert girl, the ability to make her life and the lives of her parents and younger sisters a bit better, one Yellow Cab driver thought there was a way the Palm Desert cab company might be able to help.
“A driver actually brought Victoria and Shelby’s story to my attention and as I watched it was just overwhelmed with compassion for what they’re going through,” said Michal Brock, general manager of Yellow Cab of the Desert.
With a 2006 Chevrolet van that is wheelchair accessible due to be retired at the end of May, Brock brought the story to the attention of the board members of the Yellow Cab Cares and asked if the van could be donated to the Huerta family. “The answer was an immediate yes,” Brock said.
Shelby, who was born with a Chromosome 6-Q deletion, has the mental and physical development of a six-year-old and is non-verbal. She needs her specially adapted wheelchair at all times. But with only a family sedan, it meant leaving the chair at home and either carrying her or using a stroller that does not give the child the support she needs.
The van is equipped with a ramp for easy loading and unloading of the wheelchair, tie-downs to stabilize the chair when the van is in motion and a higher than normal ceiling. Although it has been driven more than 300,000 miles around the Coachella Valley, the van recently underwent engine and transmission repairs. It will be retired on May 31. Once it has been stripped of the cab decals, top light and meter, Yellow Cab hopes to give it a new paint job, “Hopefully white with pink sparkles,” said Shelby’s mother, Victoria Garcia.
If all goes as planned, Brock and other members of the Yellow Cab Cares board hope to give the keys to the Huerta family by June 5, just prior to Shelby’s fifth birthday.
“With this van we can get her to all her doctors’ appointments and get her to the support that she needs,” Garcia said. “And we’ll be able to go to so many places as a family. It’s a real blessing for us,” said Garcia.
ABOUT YELLOW CAB CO. OF THE DESERT, INC.
Yellow Cab Co. of the Desert, Inc., a luxury taxi service, provides the largest fleet of vans and has been serving the Coachella Valley for over 30 years. For more information, rates, or to book a taxicab, please call (760) 340-8294, download the Yellow Cab app or visit, www.Yellowcabofthedesert.com. Follow Yellow Cab Co. of the Desert on Facebook and Twitter at YCOTD.