Midas of Gainesville Teams up With Captain Sandy Yawn from Bravo’s Below Deck Mediterranean to Donate a Fully Refurbished Vehicle to a Family in Need

January 24, 2024

Bravo Below Deck’s Captain Sandy Yawn is an incredible leader, altruistic human and the consummate professional. Captain Sandy’s niece, Katie Roberts, is a hard-working nurse who dedicates her life to helping others.  When Midas heard that Katie’s daughter, Captain Sandy’s grandniece, Emalynn, was suffering from a rare debilitating condition, they knew they had to help.  Sandy needed a van for Katie to transport Emalynn to doctor’s appointments and to handle simple everyday life. Thanks to Captain Sandy, Emalynn has an electric wheelchair. This has given her priceless independence. Thanks to Captain Sandy, Midas of Gainesville and 1-800-CharityCars there will now be transportation for Emalynn--with ease.

On Friday, January 26 at 9:30, Midas Gainesville Steve Baker, Midas/Director of Operations in the Florida Region along with the team of professionals at Midas of Gainesville, will be handing over a completely refurbished accessible van to Sandy, Emalynn and Katie at the Midas shop located at 3845 SW Archer Rd in Gainesville.  We would love to have you come to witness this sweet and heartfelt moment. Gus, Captain Sandy and her family will be on site to answer questions, comment and of course to receive this life-changing gift--a testament to Midas’ compassion and community spirit that unites individuals and businesses in making a difference.

Emalynn’s genetic disorder is called RTD type 2. This stands for Riboflavin Transporter Deficiency. This affects all muscle and nerve function in the body . The testing was not available until about 6 years ago and until then she only had a probable diagnosis. The onset of her symptoms began at age 1 1/2. She started to have muscle weakness in her legs and episodes of losing consciousness after crying. Within 6 months, she could no longer stand or walk. The weakness ascended to her hands and then she could no longer hold her head up. During this time she was losing her vision and hearing as well.  Ultimately, she went into respiratory failure and this resulted in a two month stay at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg Fl. She left with a feeding tube and tracheostomy. She has been ventilator dependent ever since.  RTD has affected her major life activities and she will require 24 hour assistance for the rest of her life.

Despite her many setbacks and limitations, Emalynn is very bright, sociable, compassionate and has an old soul.  She finds humor in every day and chooses to focus on the good that she has in life. She is your typical crop top wearing teenager who is boy crazy and dreams of going to college and living an educated life. She is an inspiration to so many.

“We are incredibly grateful and fortunate for this opportunity to receive such an amazing gift,” Katie said. “This van will help our family for many years! The assurance that we will have a dependable source of transportation is priceless!”

About Midas Project Spark:

For millions, the road to opportunity starts with reliable wheels. Transportation shouldn't be a privilege. That's why Midas, alongside its dedicated franchisees, ignited Project Spark - a community crusade to repair cars and rebuild lives across North America and Canada.

Every repaired car under Project Spark tells a story - a story of resilience, community, and the unwavering belief that a helping hand can change a life. Midas celebrates these stories and their mechanics who write them, one wheel at a time.